The Theory of Flight

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Time Out says

Bonham Carter is in a wheelchair with Motor Neurone Disease. Branagh is the quirky artist who keeps her company while building his own flying machine. The combination of luvvies, disability, whimsy and feelgood sentiment hardly makes for an enticing set-up, so the merest suggestion that this is not quite as bad as it sounds is actually modest praise. The heart does sink when we first see Branagh plunging off the Royal Exchange with his man-made wings, but the more we get to know him the more likeable this screwed-up grim bastard seems. The court sentences him to community service in the countryside, which means pushing Bonham Carter's wheelchair around after her testy temperament has driven off a host of other would-be carers. Her terminal condition destroys the muscles but leaves the mind intact, pissed off with life, swearing like a trooper and more than ready for a shag. These qualities make her and Branagh well-matched, but even he initially baulks when she asks for his help in returning to London and hiring a gigolo to take her virginity. Richard Hawkins' screenplay is all the more effective for its surprising lack of slushiness - yet there does come a point when the film simply loses its bottle and becomes dismayingly gooey for the final reel.
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Release details

UK release:

1998

Duration:

101 mins

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