This film came highly recommended from friends who had seen it at the cinema, so I bought the DVD as I had missed it at the time. It was well worth it, one of the best films I have seen. A really good human comedy, well written and acted.
Although based on a true story, the characters are fictionalised to make the drama more engaging. Sam Neill's character comes out with what must be the quote of the movie .... in relation to televising the first moon walk .... "Imagine stuffing that up!" - I suspect that most people with some experience of life can empathise, which is one of the things that gives the film its power.
A friend who works at a radio astronomical observatory tells me that the atmosphere portrayed in the film is very true to life. Except the sequence of them playing cricket on the surface of the dish which, I am told, would be a very serious offence in reality.
Was there anything that I thought ought to be on the DVD that wasn't? Yes. Although there was the usual stuff - interviews, trailers and adverts (who wants those?) and some very good supporting material such as the newsreel of the Parkes observatory opening and some NASA archive footage - I would have liked to have seen something about the work that the Parkes dush has been used for in its long operational life, and something about the real people who took part in the events portrayed.
Was there anything that I didn't like about the film? Yes, but not to detract form a 5 star rating. At the start and end we see close ups of Sam Neill made up to look like an old man - I know it must be difficult to do, but if it doesn't look better than that then don't use a close up!
Will you only enjoy this fiilm if you are interested in things to do with space? Absolutely not, it is about people.