Thursday, May 10, 2001

The right signals

Movie: The Dish

Posted on Thu, May 10, 2001 at 4:00 AM

Our Rating: 0.00

For those who never found the 1960s to be much of a source of nostalgia, "The Dish," a charming, evocative look back at events surrounding Neil Armstrong's stroll on the moon 32 years ago, may just move you. "The Dish" traipses lightly through a world long gone in the rural Australian village of Parkes, which became famous when its 1,000-ton satellite dish abruptly became NASA's only hope to broadcast Apollo 11's lunar landing back to TV viewers on Earth. The unflappable head of the Australian satellite crew, Cliff Buxton (the ever-watchable and appealing Sam Neill), leads his increasingly excitable team toward its sudden thrust into the limelight and deals with an impatient, anxious NASA representative (Patrick Warburton) as everyone holds their breath wondering if the dish will actually work. Knowing that it did work doesn't spoil the good-natured tone of this fun jaunt (despite a sweetness that verges on icky), what with director Rob Sitch's use of bouncy pop tunes, pokes at provincial quirkiness, and endless shots of sheep. A huge hit Down Under and a favorite at this year's Sundance Film Festival, "The Dish" is a reminder that it has been too many years since the nation and the world came together to celebrate the wonder of human potential realized.

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