Lucy in the Sky
Lucy in the Sky: Directed by Noah Hawley. With Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz, Dan Stevens. Astronaut Lucy Cola returns to Earth after a transcendent experience during a mission to space, and begins to lose touch with reality in a world that now seems too small.
Loosely based on the story of Lisa Nowak, astronaut who had an unfortunate break from reality after she returned from space and ended up being arrested at an Orlando airport.
woman in space needs just a couple more minutes, then returns to earth, picks up her neice from school, has dinner with her husband, goes through a counseling session with a wheelchair bound Nick Offerman, then signs back up to go on another mission. She’s invited out to some bowling with other candidates for this next mission and one thing leads to another and she’s having an affair with another candidate played by Jon Hamm.
As you should expect, things go sidewise when Lucy becomes too attached to her new friend, gets too cocky during a training mission, and is then denied the next flight that’s going up. She leaves her husband, breaks into the NASA office to read some emails, then goes on a self appointed roadtrip mission to convince her new boyfriend that she’s truly worthy of going back to space. To do that, she needs a gun, surgical tubing, rope, and bug spray. Along for the ride for this entire ordeal? Her niece!
The film plays with the aspect ratio a fair bit in the first two thirds of the film to great effect, with it growing tighter and wider depending on how Lucy was feeling at the time. Natalie Portman was, as always, amazing in her role, with an exceptionally effective supporting cast. Jon Hamm and Zazie Beetz both played roles that I’ve seen them in before, but Dan Stevens as an adorably buttoned up and earnest husband was illuminating to see.
I’d suggest it if you’re a Portman fan, or even if you want to see a great depiction of someone just on the razor’s edge of sanity take that first step off the path of lucidity.