Theory Of Flight

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Drama, Romance

About the best that can be said for this contrived British import is that it could be worse. Miserable after a harsh breakup, failed artist Richard (Kenneth Branagh), who's lost hope in life and himself, jumps off a London skyscraper, using his discarded canvases for wings. He only succeeds in getting himself into trouble, and is sentenced to community...read more

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Reviewed by Sandra Contreras
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About the best that can be said for this contrived British import is that it could be worse. Miserable after a harsh breakup, failed artist Richard (Kenneth Branagh), who's lost hope in life and himself, jumps off a London skyscraper, using his

discarded canvases for wings. He only succeeds in getting himself into trouble, and is sentenced to community service rather than jail time. The involuntary volunteer is assigned to work with Jane (Helena Bonham-Carter), a 25-year-old afflicted with a degenerative motor neuron disease that's

confined her to a wheelchair. Jane's hard-to-understand speech and defensive attitude immediately put Richard off, but they're stuck with each other, and the shabby Richard -- who has an inordinate amount of time on his hands, some of which he's devoting to the construction of a new, more

elaborate flying machine -- finds himself challenged (of course) by his feisty charge. Their initial bickering gives way to mutual friendship as they do the batty things that people only do in "life-affirming" movies. Finally, Jane screws up her courage to ask Richard for help in losing her

virginity. He at first refuses, later agreeing to take her into London for a sympathy shag. But she wants the whole package: sex plus the love and affection that she's tenuously glimpsed with Richard. The last bit of the film, in which a ludicrous subplot requires Branagh to do his imitation of a

RESERVOIR DOGS-inspired thief, is particularly weak. To his credit, director Greengrass doesn't play the potentially maudlin material strictly for tears, and his leads are thoroughly competent, if not especially subtle. Perhaps Jane's insistence that "stories have to be round" holds the key to

what makes this film such a dull exercise: If she means they have to be completely predictable, one begs to disagree.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: About the best that can be said for this contrived British import is that it could be worse. Miserable after a harsh breakup, failed artist Richard (Kenneth Branagh), who's lost hope in life and himself, jumps off a London skyscraper, using his discarded… (more)

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