I chose this photo because it is a sculptual/poetic essence of the movie AD ASTRA in a way that sums up the movie and I’ve become fond of this image. I’m pretty sure if that first sentence bothers you, you should skip this movie LOL. And I apologize in advance for being pretentious LOL. I was going to talk about this movie on our podcast but we landed up talking about JUDY and I forgot to mention I had seen this too. In one way both Pitt and Zellweiger’s performances had something in common. I completely forgot I was watching either of them. during their portrayals. If you know how much I love Pitt (second only to my guy Keanu) then you know how remarkable that is to me.
AD ASTRA is made by a very very thoughtful filmmaker, James Gray, whose movies THE YARDS and THE LOST CITY OF Z are fascinating and really good stories. During the past few days I have found myself thinking way more about AD ASTRA than the other movies I’ve seen this week including DOWNTON ABBEY. They were great movies but this one really made me think and feel in a different way.
It’s not a typical space movie…although it has peers like 2001, GRAVITY, CONTACT and SOLARIS. There is some stunning action and suspense, like an outstanding chase scene on the moon, and a haunted-house visit to a space station. Good stuff. But overall this is a movie about self-reflection. In fact, it is self-reflection that saves the day. May characters die off rather unexpectedly and with no sense f logic. What is going on here? These characters had the same kind of training, intellect, and skills that Pitt’s character has…is this rampant lazy hero-making? No it’s not. One has to really think about what we see in such a minimalist portrayal and setting and say…what are the clues. The answer is very Malcolm Gladwellian. These highly skilled physically elite college honoured astronauts died because…they did not use common sense or free will. How topical is that?! They did every thing right, followed all the rules and yet were unable to utilize critical thinking to problem-solve. It took me a glass of wine and after-movie discussion with a friend (thanks Cybele) to articulate this and made the whole movie going experience so rewarding. This is a movie for meditation: 10/10. BTW “ad astra” means “to the stars”. (If you want movie review about Judy please find our podcast THE AGENCY on iTunes or Podbean.)