The Theory of Flight (1998) 720p

Movie Poster
The Theory of Flight (1998) - Movie Poster
Comedy | Drama
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
101 min
IMDB Rating:
6.6 / 10 
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Directors: Paul Greengrass [Director] ,

Movie Description:
A dreamer who aspires to human flight is assigned public service after one of his attempts off a public building. This leads him to meeting a young woman, who is dying of motor neuron disease. The strong-willed woman admits her wish to be de-flowered before her death. The man, struggling to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend, declines, but offers to help pay for a gigolo to do the deed. The following events play off the inherent comedy and drama of the circumstances. —John Sacksteder


  • The Theory of Flight (1998) - Movie Scene 1
  • The Theory of Flight (1998) - Movie Scene 2
  • The Theory of Flight (1998) - Movie Scene 1

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needs more and bigger laughs

Richard (Kenneth Branagh) is a dreamer who tries an unpowered flight off of a London building. He survives and is sentenced to community service. His girlfriend Julie is exasperated. He continues to build a home-made plane in a barn. He is given Jane Hatchard (Helena Bonham Carter) to care for. The wheelchair-bound sex-obsessed Jane suffers from Lou Gehrig's Disease. Her rebellious nature hides the fact that she's a virgin. Richard helps to find a gigolo for her.

This is set up for a pretty simple feel-good movie. It just needs more and bigger laughs. It relies mostly on Jane's virginity for the jokes. Also Jane's speech impediment prevents the jokes from getting the right timing. I also can't see finding a gigolo to be that difficult unless Richard is more awkward. If Richard is wackier, this movie could be more fun.

Carter's performance is good but the script has problems

The Theory of Flight has a good performance from Bonham Carter but in a underdeveloped role. Too much of Branagh's character. Her "My Left Foot" the movie is not. It was directed by Paul Greengrass before he went all shaky cam. A movie that was more about Carter's character would have been better because her performance is so good that it deserved the Oscar buzz it received. Because the movie is not about her however and is so focused on Branagh's unbalanced but not as interesting character the movie is basically just OK rather than being a film like My Left Foot. The direction from Greengrass has some interesting moments but a lot of time there is just too much overdoing of scenes with Branagh.

Funny, Intelligent & Very Well Done

Kenneth Branagh is one of my favourite actors having seen some of his work in Dead Again & Mary Shelley's Frankenstein his performance was both clever and incredible. Helena Bonham Carter's portrayal of Jane a young woman dying from motor neurone disease was touching and heartfelt, you see the character go through the difficulty of the illness and sympathize with the situation.

When I saw this film I began to enjoy it after the first few minutes it was funny, heartbreaking and a little romantic. One of my favourite scenes was when Jane asked for help to lose her virginity, the expression on Richard's face was hilarious and yet stunned.

The Theory Of Flight is a charming story filled with enough comedy, drama and the right amount of romance to keep viewers entertained.
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