The Aeronauts

James Stewart and Audrey Hepburn would’ve probably been Disney’s first picks to play mild meteorologist James Glaisher and daredevil pilot Amelia Wren in a Technicolor pic shot in Cinerama. Instead, we get Edward Redmayne and Felicity Jones in a fabulously old-fashioned throwback about a daring 1862 flight to reach new heights in a hot-air balloon. It’s a real shame that plans for a proper release from Amazon Studios got scuttled, since The Aeronauts only has a few painfully obvious CGI shots. That still can’t keep this adventure from being worthy of a big screen. The script also has a neat trick of telling its tale in almost real time while setting up the miserable backstories of the protagonists. Of course, Disney would have never allowed the male lead to pretty much sleep through the heroine’s most daring antics – although Glaisher also gets in his own shining moments. The biggest loss with The Aeronauts’ limited release, however, is Jones (playing a fictional feminist mash-up to Redmayne’s real-life Glaisher) getting sent to streaming with a performance that captures all of her best attributes as an offbeat movie star.