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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Summer 2006-7

Astronaut Farmer (2006) movie review

That bullet's still travelling, and now it's heading right for my dream

Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton) is an ex-astronaut whose father's suicide forced him to leave the programme before he could go into space. Now living on the family ranch with his wife and two children, Farmer is building a rocket in his barn, planning to go into space on his own dime.

Like all dreamers and doers, Farmer is seen as foolish, mad and dangerous. He is called a danger to his family. And the FBI and all the other alphabetic organisations are set to block his path with threats and bribes and legal dances. Will he make it into space? Will he inspire others?

Movie poster, Astronaut Farmer; Festivale film review

Movie poster, Astronaut Farmer; Festivale film review

If we don't have our dreams, we have nothing.

And children, when they say don't try this at home, they mean it.

Farmer is a qualified engineer, and a NASA-trained spaceman. He is also a persistent dreamer who has inspired his family. While the FBI chase around in black SUVs and communicate with mobile phones using the Star Wars ringtone, he and his home-grown mission control demonstrate the value of chasing your dreams.

Movie still, Astronaut Farmer, Festivale film review; 530x217

No matter what happens today my children will see that I didn't give up.

The space programme is nothing today compared to the halcyon days ushered in by John F. Kennedy and the Russian-American space race. Now space is about possible profits and probable wars. I miss the place where dreams live -- the promise of space.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 23 February 2007
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

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Just the facts:

Title: Astronaut Farmer (2006)
Written by: Mark Polish
Directed by: Michael Polish
running time: 104 mins

The Players: Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Max Thieriot, Jasper Polish, Bruce Dern

Official website:
IMDb entry

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