Presented by Café Van Houtte
Directed by Shelagh McLeod
Hosted by Director Shelagh McLeod, Producer Jessica Adams and Actors Colm Feore, Mimi Kuzyk, Richie Lawrence, Joan Greyson, Rhona Shekter, Mike Taylor and Peter Valdron
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019, Taormina Film Festival 2019
Richard Dreyfuss, Colm Feore, Graham Greene
Jessica Adams, Sean Buckley
The Competition Productions Inc.
We all have a dream that keeps us going. It can be a dream of success, of love or an incredible goal, while for some it's a place. For Angus Stewart (Richard Dreyfuss), it's space itself, the opportunity to reach the stars close enough to touch them and see the Earth as he turns around. But Angus' reality is much more grounded. His wife has recently passed, he's in poor health, has lost his home due to debt and his daughter (Krista Bridges) and her family have just placed him in a retirement home. But even at 75, life can still give you reason to hope. Billionaire Marcus Brown (Colm Feore) is about to launch the first-ever commercial space flight and is offering one seat to an average citizen. So, with the help of his grandson (Richie Lawrence) and son-in-law (Lyric Brent), this retired civil engineer is going to take a chance to make his lifelong dream finally come to life.
The debut feature from actress Shelagh McLeod, ASTRONAUT is a rarity in movies these days: a fairly tale with both feet in reality. It's a tale of wish fulfillment that comes not from the stars but straight from Earth, of a dream come true due neither to luck or magic, but from life, experience, love and family. McLeod has fashioned a perfect late-career role for Dreyfuss, whose character harks back to his classic role in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, and he delivers his best performance in years. The cast is filled with great roles for a bevy of excellent character actors — Feore, Graham Greene, Art Hindle — all of them terrific, and Bridges, Brent and Lawrence all make for a wonderfully modern family for Dreyfuss. A film of genuine hope and inspiration, dreamers of all ages are going to want to put ASTRONAUT high on their Fantasia 2019 must-see list. – Matthew Kiernan
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