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The Astronaut's Wife (1999)

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After an explosion in space and subsequent two-minute radio-out period, two astronauts return home to their wives. Slightly it's revealed that they're not the same as they were.

Director:

Rand Ravich

Writer:

Rand Ravich
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Commander Spencer Armacost
Charlize Theron ... Jillian Armacost
Joe Morton ... Sherman Reese, NASA Representative
Clea DuVall ... Nan
Donna Murphy ... Natalie Streck
Nick Cassavetes ... Capt. Alex Streck
Samantha Eggar ... Dr. Patraba
Gary Grubbs ... NASA Director
Blair Brown ... Shelly McLaren
Tom Noonan ... Jackson McLaren
Tom O'Brien ... Allen Dodge
Lucy Lin Lucy Lin ... Shelly Carter
Michael Crider Michael Crider ... Pat Elliott
Jacob Stein Jacob Stein ... Calvin, 2nd Grade Student
Timothy Wicker Timothy Wicker ... Wide Eyed Kid #1
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Storyline

A pair of shuttle astronauts leave their spacecraft to repair a satellite. There's an explosion. NASA loses contact for two minutes, but the both are rescued and safely returned to Earth. Eventually it becomes evident that neither of the astronauts is quite the same. Written by JHole

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine the face of terror is the one you love. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and a strong scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Astronautova žena See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,027,003, 29 August 1999

Gross USA:

$10,672,566

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,598,588
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clea Duvall (Nan) can be seen wearing blue contacts during several scenes in the movie. In some scenes, she sports her natural brown eyes. See more »

Goofs

All NASA shuttle astronauts live and work in the vicinity of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, many of them in Clear Lake, a Houston suburb. Yet in the film, Jillian teaches school in Florida, where she and Armacost clearly live. Astronauts only go to Florida for launches. See more »

Quotes

Jillian: He's hiding inside me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER: The DVD includes an alternate ending: When Spencer is killed, Jillian is not possessed by the alien. Instead, she moves out to the country. Sitting beneath a tree, looking up at the stars, she tunes her radio to the same signals Spencer was receiving while possessed by the alien - her twin babies controlling her movements from inside the womb, listening - and waiting... See more »


Soundtracks

Four Beat Cha Cha Cha
Written by Tito Puente
Performed by Tito Puente and His Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
Visually enticing and well acted, but poorly executes good ideas. ** out of ****.
30 April 2000 | by Movie-12See all my reviews

THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE / (1999) **

Johnny Depp plays a NASA astronaut named Spencer Armacost who, while on a space mission, losses contact with Earth for two minutes. He and his colleague, Alex Streck (Nick Cassavetes), return home to their spouses, Jillian Armacost (Charlize Theron) and Natalie Streck (Donna Murphy). Bizarre episodes begin to occur with Alex, leaving Jillian suspicious of her husband's condition. As her husband's strange behavior increases, Jillian begins to question what really happened in those 120 seconds.

"The Astronaut's Wife," written and directed by Rand Ravich, poorly executes good ideas. We have imaginative and potentially suspenseful ideas with this film's concepts behind such happenings in two minutes as Spencer and Alex are in galactic boundaries. The gradual increase in Spencer's unusual behavior depicts effective suspense-but thorough introduction of the characters does not take place, nor do we witness the key events in which the rest of the move hinges upon. Consequently, "The Astronaut's Wife" does not work.

The film's first act is full of incidences, characters, and subplots. Clearly too many things happen too early in the story. Within the first thirty minutes the production attempts to develop two separate relationships, shows us the atmosphere of a teacher's workplace, something bizarre transpires out of earth's orbit, a decision is made to resign and move to New York, a suicide takes place, a character mysteriously dies, and probably more. I just couldn't follow the plot.

I liked the eerie, supernatural overtones located throughout the production. The film is smart to reveal the right amounts of information at the precise time. There is also a certain style to "The Astronaut's Wife," containing an elusive mood, a weirdly intriguing design, and some tense and unusual camera angles. The movie becomes more interesting as we reach the closing.

Charlize Theron has been in a lot of movies lately, but "The Astronaut's Wife" is her first leading role. She seems to have come out of left field in 1997 with the comedy "Trail and Error." Afterwards, she contributed larger performances in "The Devil's Advocate," "Celebrity," "Mighty Joe Young," and most recently "The Cider House Rules," and "Reindeer Games." Her role in "The Astronaut's Wife" is a little more complex than her past credits, excluding her enticing and believable acting job in "The Devil's Advocate." She presents the traumatized Jillian Armacost with the perfect blend of zest and tragic confusion.

Depp and Theron conjure a chemistry-rich couple. The movie very clearly takes Jillian's point of view instead of allowing us to know mysteries with Spencer. This stays consistent and focused, but sometimes leaves us pondering about unexplained events.

"The Astronaut's Wife" builds for an awe-inducing conclusion through revealing and intriguing dialogue and an omnipresent undertone. The film suggests a form of extraterrestrial is behind the deaths of several characters as well as the strange behavior of Spencer, but we learn the truth only in the end. Call "The Astronaut's Wife" an unusual "The X Files" episode featuring a cliffhanger conclusion and a supernatural climax. The movie must have appeared really exciting on script. If only more capable filmmakers would have claimed this production we may have had a real winner. Instead audiences feel disappointment and failure, potential is wasted and originality is underscored


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