Remember when you were a child and an adult got very serious and asked you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Some kids answered very definitely, but most of us were too busy trying to do well in school, make friends, and deal with a rainbow of emotions to spend our energy on dreams.
Astronaut is spiffy little film starring Richard Dreyfuss as Angus, a widower who has known all his life that he wanted to be an astronaut. He still thinks about what it would be like to travel into outer space. He shares his love of astronomy and the space program with his grandson Barney (Richie Lawrence), who prods him to enter a TV contest. The prize is getting a seat aboard the first private-passenger space flight.
After not revealing his correct age or his heart problems on the application, Angus manages to land on the shortlist for the flight. But then this experienced civil engineer questions the safety of the launch runway.
Writer and director Shelagh has given us an entertaining drama about the powerful attachment we can have to a dream that has been a driving force in our lives for years. A bonus is the depiction of the loving relationship between Angus and Barney, proving that dreams can be passed down through the generations. It also helps that Dreyfuss is such a good actor that he can pull off sweetness without making it seem too melodramatic.