a UFO film for a space odyssey in the meadows


Few French films have ventured to conquer space since The journey to the moon, by Georges Méliès, in 1902. Recently, there has been intimate science fiction Nearby (2019), by Alice Winocour – the preparation of an astronaut for Star City, Russia, torn between family life and a space mission – but the latter went rather unnoticed despite its undeniable qualities.

While it seemed established for many years that only Hollywood had the means to go beyond the atmospheres and the celestial bodies, the French actor and director Nicolas Giraud dodges the financial question with a tailor-made story for a modest budget, in imagining the first amateur flight in space.

It is not a form of space tourism on the model of what Elon Musk’s SpaceX or Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin propose, but the determination of a man to create a rocket by himself will take you to more than a hundred kilometers in altitude. Homemade aerospace, which aims neither for the odyssey of anticipation nor for the interstellar reconstitution.

mad passion

If, in the current state of technology, it is unthinkable that an individual could manage to build his own little private Apollo, i.e. a single-stage orbital spacecraft, the fact remains that The Astronaut offers a realistic vision of this particularly courageous propulsion.

We are grateful to Nicolas Giraud, advised by the French astronaut Jean-François Clervoy, veteran of three missions with NASA who spent more than twenty-eight days in space, for not being tempted by pranks and catches of a do-it-yourself hero who would make a cartoon rocket.

Jim (played by Giraud) is not a perfect novice but an aeronautical engineer at ArianeGroup. He has been stripping the European Space Agency for eight years and working in secret with a chemistry enthusiast and his grandmother, when he finally enlists the services of two professionals, a retired astronaut and a mathematician.

The decision to follow the work of the group conscientiously and the almost bereaved atmosphere of the film – Jim risks his life all the same – prevails over the family lyricism which surrounds the mad passion of the young man with its tearful layers. But, above all, our happiness is to find ourselves face to face with a UFO film between Armageddon (1998) and little peasant (2017). We had never seen such a beautiful rocket on the farm and commotion of cosmonauts in the meadows. This spatial pastoral turns out to be the ideal terrain for what looks like Nicolas Giraud’s Hollywood dream. Head in the stars, boots in the land.

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