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Lucy In The Sky (15)

Cast: Zazie Beetz, Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm, Dan Stevens
Genre: Drama
Author(s): Elliott DiGuiseppi, Brian C Brown
Director: Noah Hawley
Release Date: 06/12/2019 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 125mins
Country: US
Year: 2019

NASA astronaut Lucy Cola glimpses the twinkling lights of Earth from deep space and is forever changed. She returns to terra firma, her husband Drew and teenage daughter Blue Iris determined to earn her spot on the next space mission. Lucy begins training in earnest under Frank Paxton and pushes herself to the limit to outperform younger rival Erin Eccles. Her mental state fractures and Lucy seeks comfort in the arms of fellow astronaut Mark Goodwin, who has a reputation as a ladies' man.


LondonNet Film Review
Lucy In The Sky (15)

John Lennon claimed that he was inspired by his three-year-old son Julian’s drawing to take a psychedelic boat trip beneath marmalade skies with Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. “Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,” implores Lennon on lead vocals. Director Noah Hawley respectfully follows orders and opens his earthbound drama loosely based on the true story of Nasa astronaut Lisa Nowak with the arresting image of Oscar winner Natalie Portman staring into the star at the centre of our solar system from the dreamy tranquillity of space…

Lucy In The Sky. Copyright: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Caption: Natalie Portman as Lucy Cola in Lucy In The Sky, directed by Noah Hawley. Photo: Hilary B Gayle/SMPSP. All Rights Reserved.Untroubled by gravity, she hovers like a spacesuit-clad angel, that blazing golden orb reflected in her constricted pupils. Regrettably, when Portman returns to the third rock from the Sun, Hawley’s picture crash-lands with her and staunchly refuses to regain altitude. Lucy In The Sky is unable or unwilling to clearly communicate the inner turmoil of a cheating wife, who concocts a hare-brained kidnapping scheme when her lover dares to spurn her for another woman. Burstyn scene-steals like a veteran as a straight-shooting grandmother but she cannot distract from bizarre directorial choices including a redundant scene of Jon Hamm’s astronaut watching clips of the ill-fated 1986 launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Portman plays Lucy Cola, who glimpses the twinkling lights of Earth from deep space and is forever changed. “You go up there, see the universe, then come back home and it all looks so small,” she rues, experiencing a crushing sense of disappointment back on terra firma with her mild-mannered husband Drew (Dan Stevens) and teenage daughter Blue Iris (Pearl Amanda Dickson). Determined to earn her spot on the next space mission, Lucy throws herself into training under programme director Frank Paxton (Colman Domingo) and risks lasting damage to outperform younger rival Erin Eccles (Zazie Beetz). Failure is not an option for Lucy, who has been inured to pain and self-doubt by her fragrant and potty-mouthed grandmother (Burstyn). Alas, Lucy’s mental state fractures and, impulsively, she seeks comfort in the arms of fellow astronaut Mark Goodwin (Hamm), who has a reputation as a ladies’ man. “He’s a divorced action figure who likes to go fast,” jokes unsuspecting cuckold Drew. Lucy falls for Mark, jeopardising her marriage and her place on the next Nasa rocket. When she learns that Mark has also taken a fancy to Erin, jealousy takes a vice-like grip of Lucy, propelling the enraged wife down a dangerous and violent path.

Lucy In The Sky appropriates The Beatles’ song for one of its listless interludes as director Hawley forlornly attempts to dock with his heroine’s emotions. Portman doesn’t connect the dots between starbursts of her adventurer’s erratic behaviour, robbing us of the opportunity to feel a discomfiting sympathy for her she-devil.

– Jo Planter

Lucy In The Sky. Copyright: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Caption: Natalie Portman as Lucy Cola in Lucy In The Sky, directed by Noah Hawley. Photo: Hilary B Gayle/SMPSP. All Rights Reserved.


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