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THE ASTRONAUT FARMER
USA: Warner Bros Pictures
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Bruce Dern, Tim Blake Nelson, Max Thieriot, Jon Gries, Mark Polish, Jasper Polish, Logan Polish, Sal Lopez, J K Simmons, Kiersten Warren, Jenny Gabrielle, Michael Burke, Scarlett McAlister, Jay Leno, Richard McLarkin, George McKelvey, Doris Hargrave, Gary Houston, Charlie B Brown, Kathy Lamkin, Robert E Fleischer, Elise Eberle, Rick Overton, Marshal Bell
Director: Michael Polish
USA: 104 mins
USA Rated: PG for thematic material, peril and language
USA Release Date: 23 February 2007
If we don't have our dreams, we have nothing.
From the time he was a child, Charles Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton) had only one goal: to be an astronaut. Earning his degree in aerospace engineering he joined the Air Force as a pilot. A natural for NASA's astronaut training program Farmer was well on his way to achieving his dream when the death of his father caused him to drop out and return home—effectively ending his career. A determined man, Farmer spent the next decade and every cent he had building his own rocket in a barn on his ranch in Story, Texas, working toward the day when he could triumphantly launch it into space - by himself.
Sharing his vision are his wife Audie (Virginia Madsen) and their children, daughters Sunshine and Stanley and 15 year-old Shepard, already a budding engineer and eager to serve as "mission control" on the big day. Even Audie's father, Hal (Bruce Dern), lends a hand.
However on the eve of the long-anticipated launch, an unexpected problem arises. Farmer's efforts to secure 10,000 pounds of high-grade fuel catch the attention of the FBI...and subsequently the media, who lay siege to this "space cowboy" and his homemade rocket. While the FBI, CIA, FAA and the US military fear a potential risk to civilian safety and instigate the necessary steps to shut down his operation, Farmer knows this is his one and only chance. He will not be outmanoeuvred in his goal of breaking through the Earth's atmosphere and the opportunity to instil in his children the courage to pursue their own ideals and never give up...no matter the odds.
Farmer finds himself depicted on TV screens worldwide as a renegade hero, inspiring an outpouring of popular support, while simultaneously drawing heavy scrutiny and surveillance from the FBI, CIA, FAA and the U.S. military—all of which see Farmer as a potential risk to civilian safety and will take the necessary steps to shut down his operation.
This family film is directed by Michael Polish and written by Mark Polish and Michael Polish (TWIN FALLS IDAHO).