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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: blinded me with science

Movies about science and the people who do it, as well as movies with a sense of history, are near and dear to me, and so October Sky remains one of my favorite movies of the last 10 years. From my review:

Two beautiful, linked moments — one right at the start of the film and another toward the end — astutely and delicately highlight the wistful knowledge we sometimes have that history is passing us by. As the film opens, an old miner heading to work listens to news of Sputnik’s launch on a transistor radio held to his ear. The camera lingers on his melancholy face as the elevator descends below the surface, the radio’s signal gradually fading, and the old man raises his eyes aloft, at the sky — he knows he’s seeing a touch of the future, but he’s also aware that he will miss much more. Later, Homer’s dream is sidelined, he believes for good, when he is forced to go to work in the mine. On his first day, as the elevator slips belowground, he also gazes upward through the cage to the night sky above and sees Sputnik streak by. The heartbreakingly plaintive expression on his face shows us that he is painfully cognizant that he’s going to be missing out on making history.

That was when I first fell in love with Jake Gyllenhaal, too.

review of October Sky, posted 02.22.99

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