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Laramie Movie Scope:
The Astronaut's Wife

A chilling tale of alien possession

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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August 29, 1999 -- "The Astronaut's Wife" is a creepy tale of alien possession reminiscent of "Rosemary's Baby," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," and "Village of the Damned."

Johnny Depp (who starred in "Donnie Brasco") plays astronaut Spencer Armacost, who is taken over by an alien presence through some unknown method. Charlize Theron (who starred in "The Devil's Advocate"), plays his wife Jillian. After becoming pregnant Jillian is warned by renegade ex-NASA agent Sherman Reese (Joe Morton of "Blues Brothers 2000") that her husband is not who he seems to be. Jillian at first doesn't want to believe it is true, but the evidence keeps mounting up.

This movie is pretty much by the numbers with no real surprises, but it is well done. Depp, Theron and Reese are all quite convincing. Depp is especially good, with that smooth southern accent (maybe it is natural; he was born in Kentucky). He is genuinely creepy. Theron shows a lot of emotional range as her fear and terror gradually build.

Director Rand Ravich does let the story build gradually. He doesn't play his special effects trump card too soon. He shows patience. The cinematography by Allen Daviau is also very good. While I did not care much for the ending, there is a pretty exciting climax. Technically, the movie is science fiction, but it is pretty light on the science. Overall, I rate it a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1999 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]