Title: The Dish
Director: Rob Stich
Original Release: 2000
My Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Sam Neill and Patrick Warburton star in this remarkable story. The film is shot on location so we get to experience the actual dish - still very much in use - on an intimate level. The staff sit on the dish during their smoking breaks as it is raised and lowered. They practice cricket in its bowl. The security guard gets spooked by grazing sheep in the fields surrounding. We are witness to the charms and occasional embarrassments of small town politics as the mayor and his wife play host to both Australian and American dignitaries as the landing nears. It takes a little while for tension to enter the story but when disaster strikes, it hits hard.
Not surprisingly, the real magic comes during the landing itself. I wasn't even born yet in 1969 but the emotional impact of the moment is transcendent, clearly evident in every face on screen. The filmmakers had the good sense to include authentic footage from the time period, too.
The movie is sweet, its imagery stunning and its characters charming. It could certainly hold its own with other space exploration films like The Right Stuff and Apollo 13. Its lighthearted feel would make for a nice change of pace in that mini film fest, too.
Trivia challenge again for June! Pick your own movie to share. Post three clues on Friday, June 3rd. Post your reveal and review on Friday, June 10th. Meanwhile, please visit my friends today: