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The Astronaut Farmer (2006)

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A NASA astronaut (Thornton), forced to retire years earlier so he could save his family farm, has never given up his dream of space travel and looks to build his own rocket, despite the government's threats to stop him.

Director:

Michael Polish

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Bob Thornton ... Charles Farmer
Virginia Madsen ... Audrey 'Audie' Farmer
Max Thieriot ... Shepard Farmer
Jasper Polish ... Stanley Farmer
Logan Polish ... Sunshine Farmer
Bruce Dern ... Hal
Mark Polish ... FBI Agent Mathis
Jon Gries ... FBI Agent Killbourne
Tim Blake Nelson ... Kevin Munchak
Sal Lopez ... Pepe Garcia
J.K. Simmons ... Jacobson
Kiersten Warren ... Phyllis
Rick Overton ... Arnold 'Arnie' Millard
Richard Edson ... Chopper Miller
Elise Eberle ... Madison Roberts
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Storyline

Texan Charles Farmer left the Air Force as a young man to save the family ranch when his dad died. Like most American ranchers, he owes his bank. Unlike most, he's an astrophysicist with a rocket in his barn - one he's built and wants to take into space. It's his dream. The FBI puts him under surveillance when he tries to buy rocket fuel; the FAA stalls him when he files a flight plan - it's post-9/11, after all. His wife is angry when she finds out their bank is initiating foreclosure. Charlie fears failure and decides, precipitously, to launch. Are twenty-first century American dreams just a sign of insanity? Are those who believe in dreamers only fools? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rocket | bank | fbi | space travel | fuel | See All (160) »

Taglines:

If we don't have our dreams, we have nothing.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material, peril and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Astronaut Farmer See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,454,319, 25 February 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,996,440, 22 April 2007
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Charles Farmer asks the employee of Dunkin Dounts for advertising on his rocket, the shot shows Farmer in front of a large glass window in front of a graveyard with a short chain link fence around it. The shot of the employee is the inside of the real Dunkin Donuts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The graveyard in the shot is a real graveyard with graves dating back to roughly 1910, and is behind the Dunkin Donuts. See more »

Goofs

Carnival rides use electric motors connected to huge generators to turn them. When the Farmers have the carnival ride on their property we see a large overhead view of the carnival ride but there is no generator or electrical cord anywhere. The cord is obviously buried and the generator is behind the camera. See more »

Quotes

Charles Farmer: So, what do you wanna be when you get out of here?
Child #2: I don't know.
Charles Farmer: What do you mean, you don't know?
Child #2: I don't know.
Charles Farmer: Well, let me tell you something, you better know what you wanna do before somebody knows it for you. Trust me.
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Crazy Credits

During the credits, an interview on The Tonight Show is shown between Farmer and Jay Leno. Pictures play during the credits as well. See more »

Connections

References Good Morning America (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

List of Reasons
Written and Performed by Dale Watson
Courtesy of Truckstop Mall Records
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User Reviews

 
It's not a comedy, I swear, but somehow it still works.
30 January 2007 | by recinutahSee all my reviews

When I first heard there was a movie in which my buddy Billy Bob builds a rocket in his barn, I thought for sure it must be a comedy or some sort of spoof or slapstick. Then I saw the trailer, which portrayed the film as serious drama. Given this background, I must say, I had my doubts when I went to an advanced screening in Salt Lake City last night. I need not have worried. The movie was in fact serious (with some great laughs on the aside) and yet it still worked.

Admittedly, the follow-your-dreams-no-matter-what genre has been around since the dawn of time, but Astronaut Farmer manages to stand out nonetheless. The timeless truths are all the more poignant set against the backdrop of such an impossible dream. The problems Charlie Farmer confronts are in many ways similar to problems we all face. Themes of love, sacrifice, and faith make this movie easy to relate to. It is a metaphor of being true to yourself and following your dreams, not just another sappy you-can-do-anything-you-set-your-mind-to knockoff. I recommend it to anyone who has ever wanted something out of life that seemed out of reach or that others scoffed at.


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