3 March 2014

The Astronaut's Wife


The Astronaut’s Wife 1999
  • Director: Rand Ravich
  • Based on a book: No
  • Cast: Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron, Joe Morton, Clea DuVall
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Johnny Depp  Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Slow Burn, Cry-Baby, Edward Scissorhands, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Arizona Dream, Benny and Joon, Ed Wood, Don Juan DeMarco, Dead Man, Nick of Time, Donnie Brasco, The Brave, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Astronaut’s Wife, Sleepy Hollow, The Man Who Cried, Chocolat, Blow, From Hell, Lost in La Mancha, Pirates of the Caribbean (all four of them), Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Secret Window, Finding Neverland, Libertine, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Public Enemies, Alice in Wonderland, The Tourist
    • Charlize Theron – The Road, Battle in Seattle, North Country, Monster, Sweet November, The Cider House Rules, The Devil’s Advocate,
    • Joe Morton  Speed, Terminator 2, Of Mice and Men, Crossroads
    • Clea DuVall – Zodiac, 21 Grams, Girl Interrupted, A Slipping Down Life
  • Why? Johnny Depp. Seventeenth movie of JD marathon.
  • Seen: Twice.  Now: February 28, 2014
       A more unlikely role, a more unlikely movie for JD is hard to imagine. An astronaut? With a southern accent?
       On the other hand, the story is weird enough for JD.
       He and Charlize Theron are happily married. He’s an astronaut, she’s a second grade schoolteacher. On a space mission JD and his partner are out of contact for two minutes.  They return safe and sound but what happened in those two minutes? The man who returned, is he her beloved husband or a monster?
       The film turns into a spooky thriller with CT being driven back into her former madness as the danger increases.  It’s quite exciting actually and very creepy. Is she crazy? Or is JD really the evil alien who invaded the real husband?  Who can she trust?  JD is supposed to play sweet vulnerable nerds, not obnoxious rednecks and sinister aliens, but he does both roles well here and Theron is, as always, very good. Morton and DuVall both do a very good job too.
       Again there are echoes of Rosemary’s Baby but it’s not as shocking or as interesting really.  It’s hard to care about the characters or the story a whole lot but the film isn’t nearly as bad as the bad reviews would have it. I quite like it.  It’s at least worth

2 ½ * of 5

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