The opening title tells us that “The Aeronauts” is inspired by true events,
the true events in question are that James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne), one
of the first meteorologists, in London, in 1862, did set a new altitude
record in a balloon. The fictional part is, rather than been accompanied by
Henry Coxwell, as he was in real life, he’s partnered by a plucky female
pilot called Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones).
The story of “The Aeronauts” is set mostly within the confines of the
balloon, with occasional flashbacks to both Glaisher and Wren’s earlier
lives. Glaisher, who believes that you can predict the weather by measuring
the atmosphere, is ridiculed by his peers whilst Wren, whose husband was
killed in a previous high altitude attempt where she was the pilot of the
balloon, has her own demons to overcome.
Director Tom Harper, whose last movie was the excellent but underrated
“Wild Rose”, is helped in his story by some magnificent CGI effects, in one
scene the pair have to pass through a storm which tosses the balloon about
like paper in the wind.
Whereas the CGI is without doubt faultless the same can’t be said of the
story as the first hour, with its many flashbacks and views of the balloon
climbing through the clouds, is particularly slow. However the higher the
balloon gets and the more danger the pair face the more exciting and
interesting the story becomes.
If you do plan on seeing “The Aeronauts” try and catch it on the biggest
screen you can as the view from the wicker basket of Victorian London is
nothing short of stunning.