For some reason I put October Sky on my Netflix queue ages ago. It finally peculated to the top this week and I watched it last night. I often say "so many books, so little time." The same could be said of movies (although my opinion is there's a lot fewer movies worth watching than books worth reading). I don't know how I let this 1999 movie slip by me for so long. It's a gem of a film. It does play to one typical Hollywood trope: the overbearing father who wants to quash his offspring's dreams. But in this movie (perhaps because it was based on a true story) the father comes off more sympathetic and believable. He just wants what's best for his son, but he's basing his beliefs on outmoded thinking. In fact, the contrast couldn't be more stark between the father (coal miner, underground, looking to the past) and the son (dreaming about rockets and space, looking up, thinking about the future).
It's a very good, uplifting film that extols the virtues of "book learning" and looking beyond the horizon. It's set in a coal-mining town in West Virginia where every man pretty much works for the mining company and every man's son is expected to do the same. As the school principle states, a "few lucky ones" might escape on football scholarships.
If you haven't seen this film, gather the family around the flatscreen and show it to them. Very good movie.