Main cast: Johnny Depp (Commander Spencer Armacost), Charlize Theron (Jillian Armacost), Joe Morton (Sherman Reese), Clea DuVall (Nan), Donna Murphy (Natalie Streck), and Nick Cassavetes (Capt Alex Streck)
Director: Rand Ravich
The Astronaut’s Wife has two thing going for it: Charlize Theron’s surprisingly good acting and Johnny Depp’s maniacal facial features. Its biggest downfall, however, is that after all its wonderful building up of tension and suspense, it deflates like a balloon poked with a pin halfway through and is totally a limpie by the ending.
Spencer is an astronaut who goes off to space with his buddy Alex and experiences a strange “missing two minutes” incident there. He returns but his wife Jillian senses that he’s… different. Alex soon dies and the man’s pregnant wife commits suicide soon after, leading Jillian to suspect something fishy abound. Worse, she soon finds herself pregnant. By a hubby who may not be her hubby. Who may not even be human!
Charlize Theron manages to convey her fear and insecurities wonderfully well through her bright shining eyes and expressive face. I can’t help but to feel for her. Isn’t it many women’s greatest fear – the loved one may turn out abusive, cruel, a total stranger? Johnny Depp has also the right face. He looks very handsome… and insane. I can’t get his face out of my mind – he is perfect as the may-or-may-not-be psycho hubby. However, his acting is wooden and leaves little impact.
The script meanders, it really does. Much of the time goes to Jillian, but the director’s attempt to spice things up with the usual underdog-suspects-the-worse-and-contacts-the-wife angle is uninspired. And the ending… after all the one hour plus of building up a story, only to lead to this limpie of a finale? What a cop-out!
What can I say? This movie has potential, but with direction that seems to go nowhere and a rather hollow ending, this one goes straight to the missed opportunity bin. The Astronaut’s Wife goes the serious thriller path and ends up nowhere.