REVIEW: Astronaut tells a simple, superbly splendid tale

Few actors have such a penetrating, formidable screen presence as Richard Dreyfuss.

The 71-year-old thespian and Oscar-winner has given us such enduring hits as Jaws, Close Encounter of the Third Kind, and American Graffiti.

While his new film, Astronaut, never reaches the heights of his classics, it proves to be a genuine showcase for his enduring talent.

Shelagh McLeod — Canadian writer-director – makes her most ambitious, commercial film here about an aging space aficionado who gets the chance to go to space.

The widower Angus (played perfectly by Dreyfuss) feels all the forces against him as his family, poor health and corporate greed all play a part in pulling him away from his dream.

He wins a golden ticket to go to space, but the question remains, will he be able to defy the odds, and his health, to go up?

This is a remarkably interesting, nuanced film. There are no big special effects or flashy sequences, but perhaps the quiet, simpler character moments are just as meaningful.

Dreyfuss makes the movies, but watch for a particularly nice supporting piece from Colm Feore.

This is a mature film, and a perfect flick to lighten up your summer.

3.5/5 Stars

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