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TIFF 2019 Film Review: “Lucy in the Sky” (2019) ★★★


It’s hard to imagine what happens to an astronaut during the adaptation phase after landing back on earth. Perhaps, everything appears differently, the entire perspective of life changes completely as the person who returns is never the same again. There are many possibilities but the one that occurs in “Lucy in the Sky” is quite shocking to comprehend.

Inspired by real events, (a similar story happened to Lisa Nowak even though the film never suggests otherwise) astronaut Lucy Cola (Natalie Portman) has just returned back to earth. Returning back to her family, her always caring husband (Dan Stevens), and beloved grandma (Ellen Burstyn), Lucy can’t seem to find the connection with the life she once had. After realizing that there’s a chance to return back to her mission, she begins her training process with the help of her mates, including her friend Mark Goodwin (Jon Hamm), with whom she was able to feel a sense of reality much faster than with her husband.

It took me a while to realize that the actual story being told in the film is what I read once in papers. Not giving away what really happened, the film takes an unprecented turn in character development for someone who’s never heard of the real events, which I strongly recommend to not google, for a shocking surprise. This is where Natalie Portman’s acting techniques required her to portray Lucy as an already emotionally disturbed woman in a self-destructive mode. While the first part is just a preparation for what happens in the second act, be prepared for a crazy ride with Lucy, whose action will stun you to the core.

Directed by Noah Hawley, “Lucy in the Sky” is an impressive drama about love, loss, space, and earth. It’s about a woman who intends to do things her own way, in a way you would not like to be near to witness it first hand. As it may sound that I am preparing you for something extraordinary, you can trust me that what the film has reserved for you is much bigger than it may sound, but you will have to see it with your own eyes.

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