The Aeronauts (PG)

Drama (2019)
101mins UK/US

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Himesh Patel
Director: Tom Harper
Writer(s): Jack Thorne
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

James Glaisher is a scientist in 19th-century London, who believes the secret to unlocking weather patterns lies 30,000ft above the earth in the clouds. While colleagues in the scientific community pour scorn on his ideas, James is convinced to prove his theory by attempting a record-breaking hot air balloon flight piloted by Amelia Wren. She is the wife of a famous pilot, Pierre, who lost his life during a doomed ascent.

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LondonNet Film Review
The Aeronauts (PG)

Inspired by a true story, The Aeronauts takes flight with a heavy cargo of dramatic licence to chart a high-altitude expedition, which pushes two emotionally driven souls to the upper limits of human endurance. Director Tom Harper's visually stunning odyssey is loosely tethered to Richard Holmes's 2013 book Falling Upwards: How We Took To The Air, which pays tribute to brave pioneers of the ballooning community. Scriptwriter Jack Thorne focuses on one notable entry - the record-breaking 1862 ascent of James Glaisher and Henry Coxwell - and replaces one of the men with a fictional female adventurer, whose daredevil actions are thrillingly realised by a stunt woman on a balloon in mid-flight...

The Aeronauts. Copyright: Amazon Studios/Entertainment One. Caption: Felicity Jones as Amelia Wren and Eddie Redmayne as James Glaisher in The Aeronauts, directed by Tom Harper. Photo: Robert Viglasky. All Rights Reserved.Harper repeatedly smacks our gobs with vertiginous thrills and spills including a knuckle-whitening encounter with a raging storm that spins the balloon wildly out of control. On a technical level, the film soars and George Steel's breath-taking cinematography is particularly captivating on a giant IMAX screen. However, characters are emotionally malnourished despite the best efforts of Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne to recapture their Oscar-winning on-screen chemistry from The Theory Of Everything.

James Glaisher (Redmayne) is a meteorologist in Victorian London, who believes the secret to predicting weather patterns lies 30,000 feet above the earth. While colleagues in the scientific community pour scorn on his ideas, James is compelled to prove his theory by attempting a record-breaking hot air balloon flight captained by Amelia Wren (Jones). She is the wife of a famous pilot, Pierre (Vincent Perez), who lost his life two years earlier during an ill-fated ascent. Haunted by Pierre's self-sacrifice, Amelia accompanies James in a wicker basket bearing a motto from Ovid - Caelum certe patet, ibimus illi - which translates as: "surely the sky lies open, let us go that way". Far below, James's elderly parents (Sir Tom Courtenay and Anne Reid) and his good friend John Trew (Himesh Patel) await news of the expedition. As the balloon passes 12,000 feet, James and Amelia are dazzled by swarms of butterflies fluttering around the basket. Soon, reduced oxygen levels and the plummeting temperature threaten theirs wellbeing. As the altimeter records 30,000 feet, Amelia prepares to clamber atop the bulging silk canopy to forcibly remove ice from a release valve, which should allow the balloon to descend safety back to terra firma.

The Aeronauts gender-flips historical fact to provide Harper's picture with a gutsy heroine a la Sandra Bullock in Gravity, who refuses to surrender her fate to the laws of physics. Immersive sound design heightens tension at key moments as Jones and Redmayne chew delicately on the script's meagre scraps. They convince us to care about their airborne trailblazers while a dizzying whirl of digital effects rages around them.

- Jo Planter

The Aeronauts. Copyright: Amazon Studios/Entertainment One. Caption: Felicity Jones as Amelia Wren and Eddie Redmayne as James Glaisher in The Aeronauts, directed by Tom Harper. Photo: Robert Viglasky. All Rights Reserved.

London Cinemas

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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 6th December
To Thursday 12th December

- Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
- Alton, Palace Cinema
- Altrincham, Vue Altrincham (Apollo)
- Ashbourne, Vue Ashbourne
- Barnsley, Parkway Cinema
- Basingstoke, Vue Basingstoke Festival Place
- Berkhamsted, The Rex Cinema
- Bicester, Vue Bicester
- Bideford, Kingsley School
- Birmingham, mac
- Birmingham, Vue Birmingham
- Bolton, Vue Bolton
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Cribbs Causeway
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Longwell Green
- Bury, Vue Bury The Rock
- Buxton, Pavilion Arts Centre
- Camberley, Vue Camberley
- Cambridge, Vue Cambridge
- Carmarthen, Vue Carmarthen (Apollo)
- Cramlington, Vue Cramlington
- Cwmbran, Vue Cwmbran
- Dartmouth, The Flavel
- Doncaster, Vue Doncaster
- Dublin, Vue Dublin
- Eastleigh, Vue Eastleigh
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Ocean Terminal
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Omni Centre
- Ellesmere Port, Vue Cheshire Oaks
- Exeter, Vue Exeter
- Farnborough, Vue Farnborough
- Gateshead, Vue Gateshead
- Grays, Vue Thurrock
- Hamilton, Vue Hamilton
- Inverness, Vue Inverness
- Lancaster, The Dukes
- Lancaster, Vue Lancaster
- Leamington Spa, Royal Spa Centre
- Leamington Spa, Vue Leamington Spa (Apollo)
- Leeds, Vue Leeds Kirkstall Road
- Leeds, Vue Leeds The Light
- Leicester, Vue Leicester
- Leiston, Leiston Film Theatre
- Limerick, Vue Limerick
- Manchester, Vue Manchester Printworks
- Merthyr Tydfil, Vue Merthyr Tydfil
- Milford Haven, Torch Theatre
- Monmouth, The Savoy Theatre
- Newbury, Vue Newbury
- Northampton, Vue Northampton
- Norwich, Vue Norwich
- Oxford, Ultimate Picture Palace
- Oxford, Vue Oxford
- Penistone, Paramount Cinema
- Plymouth, Vue Plymouth
- Portsmouth, Vue Portsmouth
- Reading, Vue Reading
- Redditch, Vue Redditch (Apollo)
- Sheffield, Vue Sheffield
- Shrewsbury, The Old Market Hall
- Southport, Vue Southport
- St Albans, The Odyssey Cinema
- Stirling, Vue Stirling
- Stockton-on-Tees, Arc
- Stroud, Vue Stroud (Apollo)
- Swansea, Vue Swansea
- Tewkesbury, The Roses Theatre
- Thanet, Vue Westwood Cross
- Thornton-Cleveleys, Vue Cleveleys
- Watford, Vue Watford
- Wirksworth, The Northern Light Cinema
- Worcester, Vue Worcester
- York, Vue York
From Friday 13th December
To Thursday 19th December

- Andover, Odeon Andover
- Aylesbury, Odeon Aylesbury
- Ayr, Odeon Ayr
- Basingstoke, Odeon Basingstoke
- Bath, Odeon Bath
- Birmingham, Odeon Birmingham New Street
- Bournemouth, Odeon Bournemouth BH2
- Bracknell, Odeon Bracknell
- Bridgend, Odeon Bridgend
- Brighton, Odeon Brighton
- Bristol, Odeon Bristol
- Builth Wells, Wyeside Arts Centre
- Canterbury, Gulbenkian
- Canterbury, Odeon Canterbury
- Chatham, Odeon Chatham
- Chipping Norton, Chipping Norton Theatre
- Coventry, Odeon Coventry
- Crewe, Odeon Crewe
- Darlington, Odeon Darlington
- Dartmouth, The Flavel
- Dorchester, Odeon Dorchester
- Dublin, Odeon Blanchardstown
- Dublin, Odeon Coolock
- Dudley, Odeon Dudley Merry Hill
- Dundee, Odeon Dundee
- Dunfermline, Odeon Dunfermline
- Durham, Odeon Luxe Durham
- East Kilbride, Odeon East Kilbride
- Edinburgh, Odeon Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird
- Edinburgh, Odeon Edinburgh Lothian Road
- Edinburgh, Odeon Edinburgh Wester Hailes
- Epsom, Odeon Epsom
- Exeter, Odeon Exeter
- Fishguard, Theatr Gwaun
- Gateshead, Odeon Metrocentre
- Harrogate, Odeon Harrogate
- Hastings, Odeon Hastings
- Hatfield, Odeon Hatfield
- Hereford, Odeon Hereford
- Huddersfield, Odeon Huddersfield
- Hull, Odeon Hull
- Inverness, Eden Court
- Kettering, Odeon Kettering
- Kilmarnock, Odeon Kilmarnock
- Leeds, Odeon Luxe Leeds Thorpe Park
- Lincoln, Odeon Lincoln
- Liverpool, Odeon Liverpool ONE
- Llanelli, Odeon Llanelli
- Loughborough, Odeon Loughborough
- Maidstone, Odeon Maidstone
- Malmesbury, Malmesbury Town Hall
- Manchester, Odeon Manchester Great Northern
- Manchester, Odeon Trafford Centre
- Milton Keynes, Odeon Milton Keynes Stadium
- Mold, Theatr Clwyd
- Newark, Odeon Newark
- Newport, The Riverfront
- Northwich, Odeon Northwich
- Norwich, Odeon Norwich
- Oldham, Odeon Oldham
- Orpington, Odeon Orpington
- Oxford, Odeon Oxford George Street
- Portsmouth, Odeon Port Solent
- Preston, Odeon Preston
- Renfrew, Odeon Braehead
- Rochdale, Odeon Rochdale
- Royston, Royston Picture Palace
- Salisbury, Odeon Salisbury
- Southampton, Odeon Southampton
- Southend-on-Sea, Odeon Southend
- Stoke-on-Trent, Odeon Stoke
- Stowmarket, Regal Theatre
- Swadlincote, Odeon Swadlincote
- Swansea, Odeon Swansea
- Tamworth, Odeon Tamworth
- Taunton, Odeon Taunton
- Telford, Odeon Telford
- Torrington, The Plough Arts Centre
- Trowbridge, Odeon Trowbridge
- Tunbridge Wells, Odeon Tunbridge Wells
- Wallingford, Corn Exchange
- Wallsend, Odeon Silverlink
- West Bromwich, Odeon West Bromwich
- Weston-super-Mare, Odeon Weston-Super-Mare
- Worcester, Odeon Worcester
- Wrexham, Odeon Wrexham

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