October Sky Review

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 3.49.40 PM        Young Jake Gyllenhaal at his best and what many would argue to be Joe Johnston’s best, October Sky is a film that often goes under-looked when talking about great Gyllenhaal films and a really sweet, inspiring biopic. Apart from looking beautiful, October Sky is beautiful, following a kid’s awakening to the world of rocket science, his dynamite dynamic with his father and Gyllenhaal’s arc as a character is something incredible to watch on screen. But its not just Gyllenhaal’s arc which is handled incredibly, Chris Copper does something even more amazing with his character, Homer’s (Gyllenhaal) father. Handled even better than Homer’s character arc which I reiterate is handled really well, Cooper changes your perception of the character with every word he says, challenging the recurrent ideas that show up in your mind in reference to the character. Chris Cooper steals every scene he’s in and I can’t wait to see these guys back on screen later this year for Demolition since their chemistry and dynamic is practically perfect in this film. Jake Gyllenhaal is great, Chris Cooper is better, the group of friends in the group play really well off each other, Laura Dern adds a pinch of greatness as a supporting character, and Natalie Canerday also infuses authority with her motherly role. With my repetitive sentences stressing the greatness of the acting seen in this film over, the themes brought up in this biopic are perfectly depicted, from Gyllenhaal’s path of independence and self-triumph tied in with Johnston’s analysis of a family with members that hold contrary ideals from each other is fantastic. The way Johnston paints this family on film rings true to life and how a family comports itself when struggling and having Gyllenhaal face this struggle and the constant frowning upon him from the whole community just adds so much power to his cause and he slowly improves his knowledge you just get happier and happier as an audience member seeing this character succeed. But then, Johnston throws you unexpected curve-balls which work incredibly well with the rest of the film and never seem to impair its narrative thread. In the end, October Sky is a beautiful story with great performances all around and an 88 out of 100.

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