From working the fields to flying into space – the remarkable and inspiring true story of José M. Hernandez is the feel-good family film of the year.
Here is our review of the 2023 Prime Video movie A Million Miles Away, which does not contain significant spoilers.
A boy from a family of migrant farm workers watches the moon landing in 1969 and then dreams of becoming an astronaut. A Million Miles Away is the story depicting the life of a man who risked everything to pursue his lifelong dream of traveling to space, and while at times the film feels it plays safe, it’s still awe-inspiring.
The screenplay is based on Hernández’s memoir, Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut, and what I think the film has done exceptionally well is make this story understandable to all audiences.
It’s not over-dramatic, over-played, or explicit in its content and is suitable for all viewers.
José M. Hernandez was born in Mexico, and while working in the fields, he co-developed the first digital mammography imaging system. He persevered to become a crew member on the Space Shuttle mission STS-128. Amazing? I think so, too.
A Million Miles Away Review and Plot Summary
Director and co-writer Alejandra Márquez Abella’s portrayal of José Hernández is heartwarming and humble. Michael Peña, who plays Hernandez, gives a compelling performance. He’s a fantastic actor who I think is massively underrated. His charisma melts on screen, making him delightfully easy to watch.
The storyline hits familiar chronological biopic beats as we watch Jose grow up, graduate, and chase his dreams, making it easy to follow and understand. There are themes of hard work, sacrifice, perseverance, and self-confidence.
With subtle political undertones and hints of comedy, this film has a gentle balance, enough to make you think but not feel overwhelmed. However, I thought the film ran too long, and there were sections drawn out for storytelling purposes that didn’t need to be in there.
READ: Son review
However, It’s beautifully shot, and the relationships between Hernández and his cousin and his wife are emotional and intense – some honest and touching moments to look out for all the way through.
Is A Million Miles Away good or bad?
Yes – This is a classic underdog story as everyone around him underestimates him, and he rises to the challenge.
As a viewer, you’ll be rooting for him from the get-go, and the exhilaration you get from the inevitable success of his career is highly satisfying.
Is A Million Miles Away worth watching?
Yes. It’s a heart-warming family film where a young boy who dreamed about going to space makes it. It doesn’t have the intensity and drama as other films, such as The Martian, Interstellar, or Gravity, but this one is based on an actual memoir, and life is sometimes complex in different ways.
This is the perfect family night-in movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 2 minutes. It’s undoubtedly a highlight of the year.
What did you think of the 2023 Prime Video movie A Million Miles Away? Comment below.