The Aeronauts is a semi-factual story of a record-breaking balloon flight. A Victorian meteorologist, James Glaisher, enlists the help of a daring young female pilot called Amelia Wren. His goal is to observe the atmosphere to prove that he can predict weather patterns that could have significant benefits for the future of humanity. The problem is, to do this successfully they must travel into dangers unknown. Pushing the boundaries to breaking point, it is all in the pursuit of science.
Most of the story is factually based as James Glaisher did actually carry out a groundbreaking flight. However, his pilot was a fellow scientist named Henry Coxwell. So, what we have is a blend of two different heroes from separate times. The character, Amelia Wren, is loosely based on Sophie Blanchard. She was the first female Aeronaut, who famously ballooned for Louis XVIII and Napolean.
The result is a thrilling adventure ride that takes the viewer back to a time when the world's adventurers were incredibly famous. Yes, the charming side of this story can become a little cheesy at times. But what this does do is provide something different from most of the stories that hit the screens nowadays. It's certainly family-friendly, providing strong role models and is factual enough to be educational.
Tom Harper teamed up with Jack Thorne to create the screenplay. But as a follow up to his last film Wild Rose, you could not have a more contrasting film. On top of writing the story, Tom also directs The Aeronauts. For me, his direction along with the fantastic effects is what really keeps this film afloat (pardon the pun).
The other great aspect of The Aeronauts is the excellent choice for the cast. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were simply amazing in their last film together – The Theory of Everything. Redmayne was awarded an Oscar for his role as Stephen Hawking. So, when you see these two reuniting in a project you can expect something special. And let me tell you, they don't disappoint. Cast as Amelia Wren and James Glaisher, their natural chemistry really lifts this film.
All in all, The Aeronauts does succeed in providing a charm-filled entertaining ride. Whilst, the story is quite limited, the effects and the performances result in a film that is as spectacular as the film Gravity. After all, the Aeronauts were the Astronauts of their time.