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The Astronaut's Wife Review

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Jillian (Theron) lovingly greets her space-rocketeer husband (Depp) home from a mission, but after a mishap she soon begins to think things are not what they seem and fears she may have been impregnated by an alien.

★★★★★

Don't be too surprised if this piece of weary hokum resurfaces on video renamed Rosemary's Space Baby, as there are only two significant differences between Ravich's debut movie and Polanski's 1968 opus:

(1) In The Astronaut's Wife a woman fears that she has become impregnated not by Satan but by an alien.
(2) Rosemary's Baby is a good movie.

The wife in question is Jillian Armacost (Theron), a sweet Southern schoolma'am with a history of some mental instability and a haircut just like the one Mia Farrow sported in - Anyone? Anyone? - Rosemary's Baby.

Meanwhile, Depp plays her rocketeer hubby Spencer in a good old boy-stylee ripped straight from the pages of Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff.

At first all is sunshine chez Armacost, but following a mission mishap, Things Begin To Turn Sour - notably for Spencer's ill-fated co-pilot and his pregnant wife - followed by some increasingly dire warnings from scenery-chowing NASA bigwig, Sherman Reese (Morton).

When Jillian too suddenly finds herself expecting, it is only a matter of time before she comes to believe that Spencer's Dukes Of Hazzard accent may not be the only odd thing about him. Is she really going out with The Thing? Or is she just as mad as a three-cornered hat? Sadly, by the time we find out, no-one cares.

While the cast do their best - particularly Depp, in what may prove to be that release year's most thankless role - the entire enterprise is itself so devoid of atmosphere that the film's attempts to show the empty airless truth about space flight seem quite redundant.

The entire enterprise is so devoid of atmosphere that the film's attempts to show the empty airless truth about space flight seem quite redundant.

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