The Theory of Flight


The Theory of Flight (1998)


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Continuing cinema's fascination with bringing the stories of handicaps and the mentally challenged to the big screen (Rain Man, My Left Foot, Shine, etc.), here comes a low-budget film about the unlikely love story of people brought together by fate, as well as 120 hours of community service. As a frustrated artist who can't build himself a flying machine, Richard (Kenneth Branagh) eventually finds himself in trouble with the law. As punishment for his eccentric behavior, he accepts community service in the company of Jane (Helena Bonham Carter), a strong-willed woman suffering from the neuromuscular disorder called ALS (otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease). As the two learn from each other, Jane turns to Richard with the biggest favor of all, helping her lose her virginity. What ensues is a romance/friendship that changes their lives forever.

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Critic Reviews for The Theory of Flight

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6)

The final reel of the film is over-sentimental, but the early scenes involving the couple at war are affecting.

Nov 27, 2017 | Full Review…

a charming bit of whimsy that probably would crash and burn with lesser talents at the controls

Jul 29, 2002 | Rating: 3/5

Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter generate enough good will to keep aloft a charming bit of whimsy that probably would crash and burn with lesser talents at the controls.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

The cinematic equivalent to experimental light aircraft, this is a bumpy ride that sputters and fails, not quite crashing yet never soaring above its earnest intentions.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Carter's bravura performance is the reason to see The Theory of Flight, but it's a shame that nothing else in the film matches the obvious care she put into her role.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

It's one thing to be offbeat and unconventional and quite another to be unbelievable.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Theory of Flight


An interesting movie.

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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