Apollo 13 (1995)

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Starring: Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris, Gary Sinise, Kathleen Quinlan

Director: Ron Howard

Summary: When an explosion jeopardizes a moon mission, NASA scientists fight to bring the crew home safely

Other Nominations: Supporting Actor (Harris), Supporting Actress (Quinlan), Adapted Screenplay, Original Dramatic Score, Sound*, Art Direction, Film Editing*, Visual Effects

Extremely well-made film with good acting, a remarkable attention to detail, and about as accurate to reality as a movie based on real events is going to be. The obvious comparison here is the previous space race film The Right Stuff, and I liked this one better. It’s the story of accepting a dream unfulfilled, but also of incredible ingenuity, rational thinking and keeping cool in a life or death situation with the engineers as the heroes in a movie for once (this is a huge contrast to The Right Stuff by the way). I also thought it did a great job of showing everyone’s building exhaustion both through makeup/not shaving and facial expressions. The whole cast is pretty good, with Hanks being his likeable, approachable, high integrity-self as usual, filling his role as the modern-day Jimmy Stewart; he almost certainly would have been nominated but for having won the Oscar the previous two ceremonies.

I don’t know that I have a real specific critique here, but I feel like I admire the film more than anything else instead of it leaving anything I will really remember it for. It shows a lot of care, but it’s merely story that’s worth telling and doesn’t do enough with the characters to go anything beyond that. Still, solid movie.

Rating: B

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