Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1995. Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment. Screenplay by William Broyles Jr., Al Reinert, based on the book Lost Moon by Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger. Cinematography by Dean Cundey. Produced by Brian Grazer. Music by James Horner. Production Design by Michael Corenblith. Costume Design by Rita Ryack. Film Editing by Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill. Academy Awards 1995. Golden Globe Awards 1995.
Ron Howard’s best film as director is this gripping account of the failed Apollo 13 mission that thankfully never claimed the lives of its astronauts but threatened to on many occasions. Tom Hanks heads up the operation as Jim Lovell, an astronaut who loses out on Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 trip to the moon but finally gets his dream realized when he is assigned two missions later to travel into the outer reaches of space (Lovell’s book, Lost Moon, which he co-wrote with Jeffrey Kluger, was the basis of this film). During the mission, a malfunction occurs on their spacecraft and Lovell, along with colleagues Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon, are at the mercy of whatever the excellent support team on the ground below led by Ed Harris can figure out to keep them safe. Beautifully photographed, one is convinced when watching this film that the entire crew really did travel into outer space. The drama is rich, the characters moving and the sense of wonder is constantly kept at a high level.