The Aeronauts review – airborne adventure weathers the storm | Action and adventure films

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‘She’s stronger than she looks,” says pilot Amelia Wren (a formidable Felicity Jones), patting her hot-air balloon. It’s 1862 in London and she and meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) are to ascend higher than any man or woman before them, rising above 10,000 onlookers. The two actors are reunited for the first time since 2014’s The Theory of Everything, but it’s Jones who instantly steals the show as Wren, a resourceful pilot and defiant show-woman whose instincts trump Glaisher’s research-based approach. Redmayne remains subdued, displaying only the subtlest wisp of emotion when the duo find themselves submerged in a cloud.

Inspired by real events, the film is at its best when it leans into the action-adventure genre; director Tom Harper smartly uses camera-shake and closeups to immerse the audience in the weather’s volatility. The balloon thrashes about in a storm as its passengers are battered by wind, hailstones, altitude sickness and arctic temperatures. Flashbacks to their lives on the ground lack urgency in comparison.

• The Aeronauts is released on 4 November

Source: The Guardian
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