Flash Movie Review: October Sky
IT WAS A DOG AND A FALCON that steered me towards wanting to be an animal doctor. The dog was a relative’s pet and she was the first animal adopted into my extended family. She was a sweetheart who was always happy to see me. Anytime I was visiting my relative, I would always take the dog out for walks. She had a red colored ball that she absolutely loved to fetch, that I would spend nearly all my time throwing for her. This may sound odd; but whenever I was with her, I felt at peace. Yes, I know how that must sound but I was at my calmest when I was with her. She was the origin for my love of animals. I also think the comfort I had around her made me more receptive when it came to other animals. One of my summer camp counselors was a falconer. One day he brought a falcon with him. Where some kids were hesitant and shied away from the falcon, I only wanted to get closer and pet him. When he spread his wings out to their full length, I thought for a moment I was in the wild. He looked magnificent while perched on my counselor’s arm, wings wide and head turning to look at all of us kids. THOSE TWO ANIMALS STARTED MY JOURNEY in studying to be a veterinarian. Though I did not get to the finish line, I never lost my love of animals. When I transitioned to a different major I wondered what would have happened if I had never encountered my relative’s dog or the falcon; one single event in time and a whole life can get steered down a particular path that had not been in your conscious prior. I remember a man I used to work with in a warehouse who wanted to be a fashion designer. Seeing his mother create her own outfits started him down his path. From having her teach him how to sew, to going to fashion school to getting a job at a fabric wholesaler where I met him; everyday he would come to work wearing something he had sewn himself. With row upon row filled with bolts of fabric, he felt he was working in heaven. I asked him once if there was anything else, he had wanted to be when he was growing up and he said yes. But after seeing what his mother could do with a needle and thread, he was hooked (pun intended). I admired his determination, just as I admired the determination of the main character in this biographical, dramatic family film. GROWING UP IN A COAL MINING town meant there were only 2 choices high school students had waiting for them by the time they graduated; either earn an athletic scholarship to go to college or work in the coal mines. For Homer Hickam, played by Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger, Donnie Darko), those choices were waiting for him until he looked up into the sky and saw something that no one had ever seen before. With Chris Cooper (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Adaptation) as John Hickam, Laura Dern (Marriage Story, Little Women) as Miss Riley, Chris Owen (The Mist, American Pie franchise) as Quentin and William Lee Scott (The Butterfly Effect, Pearl Harbor) as Roy Lee; this film festival winner based on a true story had an inspiring story that was wonderfully told through its script. Even at such an early age, Jake already was displaying his formidable acting skills. The whole cast was terrific and with the story set in the 1950s, there was an overall good homey feeling throughout this movie. Despite the predictability that was built into the story, I found this entertaining picture touching and inspirational. It also proved it only takes one event to change one’s life.
3 ½ stars
Posted on June 17, 2020, in Drama and tagged 3 1/2 stars, biography, chris cooper, chris owen, coal mine, drama, family, film festival winner, jake gyllenhaal, laura dern, outer space, rocket, true story, william lee scott. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.
It’s been a favorite of mine.
I am surprised from the comments; each one expresses this being one of their favorite films. Evidently, I am late to the party; but I am glad I finally got to see this film. Thank you for the comments.
You might be interested in reading the book. I saw the play which made me check further myself. And I liked the movie also.
I did not know there was a book; thank you for telling me. And I wish I would have known about the play; I would have enjoyed seeing it.
This looks a fabulous film I’ll try to catch it if it’s on Amazon or Netflix.
I was always told be careful with the arts 🎭 it’s always better to have a backup plan, something safer. My brother he was a dancer but took a masters in Maths he is an actuary right now and still dances in competition and won his half colours at University as President of the Dance Society.
Hi Charlotte, Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments and a shout out to your brother for continuing to follow his passion. I hope you get to see this film and if you do I would love to hear your thoughts on in. Be well.
I really enjoyed this movie. I want to say it came out in the late 90s?
Hi K E and thank you for stopping by to leave your comment. The movie came out in 1999. I am glad you enjoyed this film. Be well and stay safe.
I love the October sky. I remember when eight grade teacher showed us the film in school. I could really connect to the movie at that time. But watching it again, it makes sense. It’s important to maintain our grit and perseverance even when so many people are doubting us. Love your post
Hi Rosy and thank you for stopping be to leave your comments and kind words. There really is an important message in this film.
Have a safe and joyous holiday season.