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TIFF 2019 Review: The Aeronauts – “The imagery is stunning”

In 1862 London, a meteorologist and a balloonist embark on an aerial adventure to break the flight altitude record as well as make discoveries that will assist in predicting weather patterns.

Flamboyant balloonist Amelia Wren makes a theatrical entrance as a massive crowd awaits the launch of a hot-air balloon that will be also be manned by meteorologist James Glaisher who believes that the venture will help in understanding weather patterns and how to predict them.  Glaisher is as introverted as Wren is an extrovert making the pairing a clash of opposing personalities; however, both are suffering from emotional baggage, as the former is determined to prove his mocking colleagues wrong and the latter is traumatized by her husband sacrificing his life in order to save her.

Reuniting Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, who previously starred together in The Theory of Everything, was a smart move as they are able to rekindle their onscreen chemistry.  The imagery is stunning and there is no shortage of action sequences that would cause James Bond and Jason Bourne to look at Wren with admiration.  It is hard when scenes are stuck within the confines of a hot-air balloon and filmmaker Tom Harper makes the most out of the situation.  The trouble is that none of this could be done practically so there is extensive digital augmentation that looks like visual effects work rather than disappearing into the background.  In the end, the story is a fun and light piece of cinema entertainment.

Check out all of our TIFF coverage

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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