247 Movie Review: Ad Astra…the Anti-Interstellar? But Still a Space Adventure about a White Dude’s Daddy Issues.
This week in off-brand topical timeliness, we went to see Ad Astra in the theaters and are here to talk about it. Part movie review, part movie analysis, we do a spoiler-free section before moving into spoiler-full about our conflicting thoughts and feelings about this beautiful but frustrating film.
In This Episode
Why did the nonbinary prospector head west? Thanks, Tina!
Inspired by a listener’s post in the VWPA Society, we headed out this weekend to see Ad Astra in theaters and then sat down to talk about it. We were both confused as to our feelings about the movie when we left the theater but we read some good articles about it and talked it out.
We do a spoiler-free section for the first big chunk of the episode, and then warn y’all when we get to spoilers so those who haven’t seen it but are planning to can still listen without finding out any plot points.
Overall, the movie is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l but bland. Brad Pitt’s acting is phenomenal; the movie is well-acted and gorgeously filmed, but the overall narrative is missing a clear viewpoint. Many interesting, unique threads are introduced and not followed through at all, only to end the film with a pretty basic and well-worn message. However, this movie did have the nerve to do a totally different take on colonization and space, and for that we give it a lot of credit and hope that it inspires a new generation of space odyssey films. Worth it to see it in theaters if you like slow, atmospheric movies that don’t necessarily say much but take you on a beautiful journey.
Some articles we loved (spoilers ahead!):
- Where Ad Astra went right and where it went very wrong (USA Today)
- Ad Astra is about lonely Brad Pitt in space. It’s also about an absent God. (Vox)
- ‘Ad Astra’ and Refuting the Rules of Sci-Fi (Hollywood Reporter)
- What the Hell Is Going on in Ad Astra? James Gray Explains Himself (Vulture)