| The Astronaut Farmer is an inspiring story of dreams and accomplishment. Proving the movie's tagline, "If we don't have our dreams, we have nothing" to be true. Charles Farmer, played by Billy Bob Thornton, is an ex-NASA astronaut who is forced to retire to save his families farm after his father's death. In spite of this, Farmer can not seem to leave his dream of space travel behind. He builds his own rocket in his barn and begins his fight with the government to launch from his land with the help of his son at "Mission Control".
When I first heard about this movie I thought for sure we were dealing with a slapstick comedy. I mean it's called Astronaut Farmer and that alone made me think comedy. I was pleasantly surprised to find out this film, written by Mark and Michael Polish, was a colorful film about reaching your dreams and aspiring to be more than other's think possible.
If you take the movie for face value and think of it only in its pure form, you should walk out of the theatre with an overall good feeling and appreciation for the ability to follow your dreams. However, if you are a critic who tears apart each scene you may find flaws in the overall concept.
This story relates to the vast majority of individuals as it delves into money problems, family troubles, and the fight to follow the desire to achieve something in life. This movie shows a man who instills in his children the courage to pursue their own dreams and never give up no matter what adversity they face. It is a powerful family movie that has a little something for audiences of all ages.
On 2/7/07, EntertainmentSpectrum.com Editor John Koehler and I had the opportunity to talk with Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Mark Polish and Michael Polish. They were all genuinely excited about the opportunity to be a part of a movie that means something to our society. Mr. Thornton said "it always fit into a category of movie he wanted to do" and "he always played astronaut when he was younger because they were such heroes to him". Virginia Madsen described this movie as "solid as a whole, no re-writing needed".
I would recommend this movie to anyone looking for a little inspiration or a good heart-touching story. Be sure to bring the whole family!
By Maleah Moran, Entertainment Spectrum
Maleah Moran, Billy Bob Thornton, and John Koehler
Mark Polish and Michael Polish
John Koehler and Virginia Madsen