Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater in 1995, DVD, 4 Feb 2002, 15 Nov 2013 and 29 Sep 2014 and 14 Dec 2017)
Brief Synopsis –On the third manned mission to the moon, something goes wrong and both the crew on board the ship and those on the ground in mission control must work together to get them home safely.
My Take on it – This is among my favorite films because not only is it about the US Space Race of the 60’s and 70’s, but it also is done spectacularly by Director Ron Howard to take a true story where most people know the eventual outcome yet keep things thrilling the entire time.
Part of this is due to the unbelievable score by Jame Horner which helps get us into the right mood for such a story about faith, triumph and national pride.
Check it out here:
The cast is amazing and is led by Tom Hanks who plays him characters so well and calmly despite the vast amount of pressure upon him. I truly believe that if he hadn’t just won two back to back Best Actor Oscars, he might have been able to beat Nicholas Cage in ’95.
The cast helps keep things so gripping, interesting and constantly fascinating the entire time without the feeling that thinks are getting too scientific or technical in any way.
The patriotic message shines throughout the entire film and keeps going for a long time afterwards.
This film was nominated for 9 Oscars that year including Best Picture yet only managed to win two technical awards for Best Sound and Best Film Editing.
The fact that it didn’t manage to beat Braveheart (1995) for Best Picture that year is quite a travesty because this film is so much better when comparing them head to head.
The biggest snub tho was for Howard’s directing which wasn’t able to even earn him a nomination as Director despite being able to win the award at the DGA.
Bottom Line – Amazing film that takes a known event and makes it so gripping and thrilling. The music by Horner is superb and helps keep us in the mood for such a story during so many of the scenes in the film. Excellent cast led by Hanks keeps things interesting and fascinating the whole time without the need to get too technical. Has such a patriotic message that shines throughout. Nominated for 9 awards at the Oscars and only was able to win two of them (in technical categories Sound and Film Editing). Howard’s best achievement as a Director IMHO and he was snubbed of an Oscar nomination for Best Director despite winning the DGA for this. This was clearly the best film of the year and was not in any way deserving of losing the top Oscar to Braveheart (1995) which is also great, but still not as amazing as this film is. Highly Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Over the course of lunch with Billy Wilder, Ron Howard has said that he was thrilled to learn that Wilder deemed this movie to be Howard’s best work as a director, because it was about a guy who did NOT realize his dream, and that’s what made it so remarkable. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)
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