The Astronaut Farmer
An aspiring astronaut who was forced to forsake his dream of exploring space in order to save the family farm begins building his own personal rocket as a means of reaching the stars in this quirky rural drama starring Billy Bob Thornton. There once was a time when Charlie Farmer (Thornton) seemed like a shoo-in for NASA's esteemed astronaut training program. An Air Force pilot who held a degree in aerospace engineering, Charlie was well on his way to blasting off when a family crisis grounded his celestial aspirations. Of course, Charlie's feet may be firmly planted on terra firma these days, but his thoughts are constantly ascending into the clouds and beyond. It's been ten long years since the man who would navigate the stars began tending to the family farm, and during that time, Charlie has dedicated every moment of his spare time to building the rocket that will one day launch him into space. Though his devoted wife, Audie (Virginia Madsen), the pair's three children, Sunshine, Stanley, and Shepard, and even his father-in-law, Hal (Bruce Dern), all support Charlie in achieving his lifelong goal of becoming the nation's first independent astronaut, a last-minute hitch on the eve before the big launch unexpectedly stalls Charlie's countdown. It seems that Charlie's quest to obtain a substantial amount of high-grade rocket fuel has attracted the attention of not only the FBI, but the CIA, the FAA, and the United States military as well. Now, as the powers that be attempt to ground Charlie, citing concerns for civilian safety, a media frenzy descends upon the once-quiet farm as the reluctant renegade hero vows to show his children just how far one's courage and willingness to pursue one's own ideals can get a person when one refuses to give up hope. Northfork writing/directing duo Mark and Michael Polish team up to tell the tale of a man considered an oddity by his neighbors, a criminal by the government, and an inspiration by the media and the people.