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The Theory of Flight

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Director  Paul Greengrass
Music director  Rolfe Kent
Country  United Kingdom
6.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Drama, Romance
Screenplay  Richard Hawkins
Writer  Richard Hawkins
Language  English
The Theory of Flight movie poster

Release date  11 September 1998 (1998-09-11) (TIFF)
Cast  Helena Bonham Carter (Jane Hatchard), Kenneth Branagh (Richard), Gemma Jones (Anne), Holly Aird (Julie), Ray Stevenson (Gigolo)
Similar movies  Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, It Follows, Toy Story, Playing It Cool, The Departed, Something Borrowed

The theory of flight part 8

The Theory of Flight is a 1998 film directed by Paul Greengrass from a screenplay written by Richard Hawkins, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Kenneth Branagh.


The Theory of Flight The Theory of Flight Movie Review 1999 Roger Ebert

It premiered at the 23rd Toronto International Film Festival on 11 September 1998. Bonham Carter plays a woman with motor neurone disease, and the film deals with the sexuality of people with disabilities.

The Theory of Flight The Theory of Flight Movie Poster 4 of 4 IMP Awards


The Theory of Flight Cineplexcom The Theory of Flight

Richard (Branagh), an unsuccessful artist who builds primitive flying machines, attempts to fly from the roof of a London office building wearing homemade wings but fails, instead crash-landing and only being saved by a rescue squad. As a result of his actions Richard is sentenced to community service, in the form of caring for Jane (Bonham-Carter), an ill-tempered, wheelchair-bound woman who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and has run off her previous caretakers.

Over time, Richard and Jane become friends, and eventually Jane asks Richard to help her find someone to lose her virginity to, explaining that she doesn't wish to die a virgin. Reluctantly Richard helps her search for an appropriate partner, while spending his free time building yet another experimental flying machine. Eventually the two settle on a high-priced male gigolo (Ray Stevenson) for Jane, who agrees to sleep with her for two thousand pounds. As neither of them have that amount of money, they conclude that Richard must rob a bank to secure the needed cash.

The Theory of Flight The Theory of Flight Movie Poster 1 of 4 IMP Awards

Richard books a hotel suite for Jane and pays the gigolo five hundred pounds, promising the rest later. As Richard leaves for the bank job, the gigolo lays a very nervous Jane on the bed, but she begins panicking and decides she no longer wants to go through with it. Meanwhile, Richard likewise changes his mind, drawing his gun in the bank but then fleeing immediately, calling Jane's name. He returns to the room and drives off the unhappy gigolo.

The Theory of Flight THE THEORY OF FLIGHT Movieguide Movie Reviews for Christians

Richard and Jane are seen successfully taking a flight in Richard's flying machine, although it breaks apart on landing. The pair are then seen in bed, implying that Richard has taken Jane's virginity. Jane dies soon after, and the film ends with Richard placing a commemorative sign honoring Jane's memory on the wreckage of his flying machine.


  • Helena Bonham Carter as Jane Hatchard
  • Kenneth Branagh as Richard
  • Gemma Jones as Anne
  • Holly Aird as Julie
  • Ray Stevenson as Gigolo
  • Critical response

    The Theory of Flight received mixed reception from critics and currently holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

    This was the last film reviewed on-air by film critic Gene Siskel on Siskel and Ebert at the Movies before his death on 20 February 1999. Siskel gave the film a thumbs up, while his critic partner Roger Ebert gave the film a thumbs down.


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