For once, I agree with them. Jake Gyllenhaal delivers a great performance as Homer Hickam and Chris Cooper is good as John Hickam. I was watching this when my wife called to inquire from the other room as to my choice of fare. Don't think all requires is right things at right time to achieve is what you want. Homer wanted to follow his dream and his dad didn't seem to care one way or another.
The acting was great, the story was magnificent, and the cinematography was captivating given the setting of the film. Dress was accurate and they had their slang down too. That's not to denigrate this film at all. What the hell is up with that? Chris Cooper is one of the greatest living actors, and the complex, self-conflicted, bottom-line good at the core father he portrayed could only be pulled off successfully by someone with his skill and insight. Homer's father is a classic hardened man. While jaded townsfolk of their 1950's coal town dismiss the event, Homer Hickham sees Sputnik as his ticket out of a life in the mines.
Sure, it's a basic family movie, but that's a dying breed these days, it seems. Yet as in any true to life story, there are many stops along the way. It was never a movie which was grossly advertised or hugely popular. The film has some powerful themes that are beautifully scripted. The story is well written. This is an amazing story of 4 boys from the countryside mining village who takes on building rockets with the help of the local people and show that nothing is impossible.
October Sky tells the true story of Homer Hickam, a boy inspired by the Sputnick launch to become a rocket scientist. I resisted seeing this movie and I understand why it was not a big hit in theatres. Although I did not grow up in the 1950's, I believe this film honestly portrays the mood and setting of the time. And people say its better? It takes away half of the screen! I didn't want it to end. I went on to get my degrees in Physics and Computer Engineering. I saw this movie in science class, because we are learning about the creation of rockets ourselves, but I didn't really pay much attention to the building of the rocket, it was more the feel and sadness of the film.
Unfortunately, most of the town and especially Homer's father thinks that they are wasting their time. It's a movie I believe everyone can enjoy. Besides the science angle, we have the father-son disagreement, football scholarships as a way to escape coal mining, and the loving spirit of family. I was surprised this movie didn't do a 'shawshank redemption' thus becoming hugely popular years after the movie was released. Only one teacher in the high school understands their efforts and lets them know that they could become contenders in the national science fair with college scholarships being the prize. Really an Inspirational, Motivating, Enthusiastic, and also a fine Family drama.
He and his friends begin to build rockets. This all sets the mood of the film very good. The standout in this movie for me is the interaction between Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Cooper. Now the gang must learn to perfect their craft and overcome the many problems facing them as they shoot for the stars. A true wholesome American story about teenagers who are interested in launching their own rocket in a rural West Virginia coal mining town, after the launch of Sputnik in 1957. With that event, Homer becomes inspired to learn how to build rockets. The title summed up everything in the movie since the movie revolves around Sputnik.
Yet what makes the film so endearing is the relationship between the characters. With his friends and the local nerd, Homer sets to do just that by trial and a lot of error. They were so sad, it seemed. I did read a short story by Hickam which was apparently the seed that started him on the novel. This is a gem, a real piece of Americana for all that this implies. The story is about a young man back in the Fifties who gets interested in rocketry and wants to enter that field instead of working in the coal mines as everyone else, including his father, does in this West Virginia town. It was 1957 and Russia had just launched Sputnik.
It a delight to see this movie. The story is moving and compelling, and will affect you emotionally in ways movies like these rarely do. The love and support of Miss Riley is evident as well. Now the gang must learn to perfect their craft and overcome the many problems facing them as they shoot for the stars. Even Homer's mom gets her moment without cliche or intrusion. Like Clive Owen, he has an intensity and he even resembles Owen somewhat that just oozes from the screen.
I have recently seen this movie due to Jake's recent success with Brokeback Mountain. His father is not to happy about his sons new found hobby and would rather see him become a coal-miner as himself or go to college on a football-scholarship like his brother. Everyone: Get it; watch it; recommend it to your friends. I had no expectations going into the film so was astounded that I had missed this movie at all. Unfortunately, most of the town and especially Homer's father thinks that they are wasting their time.
If I had known that when seeing it, it would probably just be even more interesting. What makes this film so unusual for our times is that there are no bed-hopping scenes and no profanity whatsoever. Overall, I loved this movie, One of Jake Gyllenhaal's best!! It's a fine story, with very believable people well, it's based upon the author's early shenanigans with rocketry , a great cast? However in October 1957, everything changes when the first artificial satellite, Sputnik goes into orbit. I didn't achieve his great metaphorical and physical heights though. Laura Dern also has a small role but manages it quite effectively.