"Dull and Uninspiring"
What You Need To Know:
The way LUCY IN THE SKY is put together feels a bit messy. There’s some interesting, inventive cinematography, but it doesn’t seem to serve the story at all. Also, as Lucy, Natalie Portman’s “Houston accent” sometimes feels comical and way over done. Loosely based on a true story, LUCY IN THE SKY has a strong humanist worldview with a lot of strong foul language and promiscuity, including adultery. Although Lucy’s husband leads mealtime prayers in the name of Jesus, LUCY IN THE SKY doesn’t tell a redemptive story.
LUCY IN THE SKY takes place in Houston, Texas, where astronauts live and work every day. Lucy Cola has just returned to Earth from space on her first mission called Destiny. Although she’s glad to be back, missing her husband and her grandmother, she’s finding it more difficult than she thought it would be to ease back into her everyday life. She also comes back to find her niece living at her house, after her brother decided to take off, leaving his daughter with her and her husband.
Soon, Lucy’s back at work, about to begin training to attempt to make it onto the next mission, Orion. She has a slight competition with another astronaut named Erin, but she feels confident because she’s done this before. She’s approached by a co-worker named Mark, who invites her to go bowling with him and the rest of the “club.” The “club” refers to astronauts who have successfully gone to space and back. They all understand what that experience is like, and they stick together to talk about their time in space. Lucy takes him up on his offer, makes up an excuse for her husband and goes bowling with the club. They relate to the way she’s feeling, and Mark seems to be paying extra attention to her.
The next day at work, Lucy finds Mark in his office, where he brought a six pack of beer as his lunch and invites her to join him. They go out to a field and sit in the back of his truck, drinking and talking. Lucy is entranced by Mark, giggling at his jokes and enjoying every moment with him. She impulsively kisses him, and soon they’re committing full on adultery. Their illicit affair continues over the next few weeks, with Lucy making up excuse after excuse to her husband in order to divert his suspicions.
One night, Lucy comes home very late to find her husband awake folding towels. He says he’s been trying to call her and knows she wasn’t at work like she said. He tells her that her grandmother had a stroke, and she’s not waking up. Lucy rushes to the hospital, and a crude word from her Nana tells Lucy she’s going to be okay.
One night when Lucy and her husband are having dinner, they see Erin, the other female astronaut competing for Orion. Lucy already has had suspicions about Mark and Erin, and when Mark also shows up at the restaurant, jealousy overwhelms her. She confronts him about it but isn’t satisfied with his response. However, his mission is just days away, and he soon leaves the planet.
While Mark’s away, her grandmother dies and during the wake, she makes the decision to leave her husband, taking her niece with her. She decides to break into Mark’s office and read his emails, devastated at what she finds. The emails confirm her suspicions about Mark and Erin’s relationship, as well as plans for them to take a trip to San Diego when he returns. Lucy is beginning to lose her mind. She decides to drive herself and her niece to San Diego to meet them and take matters into her own hands.
Loosely based on the real-life events surrounding Astronaut Lisa Nowak, LUCY IN THE SKY follows a small part of a woman’s life where she began to lose sight of reality. However, the movie feels strung together without much direction or intention, creating an almost dull narrative. There are some very interesting and inventive shot sequences and cinematography, but they don’t necessarily progress the story or add anything except confusion. As a result, it’s unclear why many choices were made in the filmmaking process of this movie, and the result feels RATHER messy. Natalie Portman as the title character does well to channel a psychotic woman, but her accent is almost comical at times, taking the “Texas drawl” to unrealistic heights. There’s also almost nothing redemptive about this story. Although Lucy’s husband honors Jesus during mealtime prayers, a character refers to the feeling of love as “a trick, like believing in God.’’ Thus, the movie has a strong humanist worldview overall. Also, the promiscuity and sexual immorality in the movie are extreme, as is the foul language. LUCY IN THE SKY will turn off media-wise moviegoers.