Review: LUCY IN THE SKY Has Its Head Too Far In The Clouds

FIRST IMPRESSION

Lucy in the Sky is ambitious, but director Noah Hawley can't seem to figure out what to do with his vision and the phenomenal ensemble he has assembled.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Lucy in the Sky, the directorial debut of Noah Hawley (the creator of FX’s Legion and Fargo) is a star-studded and ambitious new spacefaring drama. However, despite the sheer abundance of potential this film had, this ends up being one of the year’s biggest disasters due to the fact that Hawley simply doesn’t seem to know what he is doing.

Inspired by true events, the movie follows an astronaut who begins to lose touch with reality after returning from space and feeling enlightened by her experiences. The true story upon which this film is loosely based is actually pretty insane, and yet the approach that Hawley and writers Elliot DiGuiseppi and Brian C. Brown takes manages to turn it into little more than an average melodrama.

There is some interesting subtext in the movie about obsession and its similarities to addiction, but these are sadly buried by the film’s underwhelming attempts to be profound. More often than not, it seems as if the filmmakers were so caught up in trying to be smart and insightful that their work loses almost all of the potential impact that it potentially had.

One of the main problems with the movie is that there is not a character with whom the audience can easily identify. The protagonist, Lucy, isn’t a particularly likable character. Although some viewers may find her quest to find her place in the greater scheme of things to be compelling, many will be put off by her relentlessly selfish actions.

lucy in the sky training
Zazie Beetz and Natalie Portman in the film LUCY IN THE SKY. Photo by Hilary B. Gayle. © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

Even though the cast assembled for the film consists of some of the most talented actors working today, their performances never reach their full potential because the material limits them. Natalie Portman gives a solid turn in the title role, and while she never reaches the level of her best work, she is the main reason why the movie is even remotely watchable. The supporting cast includes names such as Jon Hamm, Dan Stevens, Zazie Beetz, Ellen Burstyn, Jeffery Donovan, and Nick Offerman, although they each only get one or two memorable scenes.

That said, perhaps the most frustrating thing about this film is that Hawley tries to experiment with his style to a distracting extent. The aspect ratio of the movie is constantly changing, and it would be hard not to notice. Sometimes the aspect ratios will be comically bad, such as a few instances in which the shot is ridiculously thin, or one side of the screen is left entirely black. To add insult to injury, these decisions are often entirely unwarranted.

Many other choices made by Hawley are questionable. The production design in many sequences is actually quite good, but other scenes utilize excessive green screen or CGI effects and end up being extremely distracting. The soundtrack is also frequently poorly-fit to the film, and even though the score is beautiful on its own, the way in which it is aligned with the visuals doesn’t exactly work.

Likely one of the most disappointing movies of 2019, Lucy in the Sky is a total mess. Even though the script is decent and the ensemble is gifted, Hawley just didn’t have what it takes to bring his vision to life.

Lucy in the Sky is now playing in theaters.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Historical Movies and Shows | Prime Video

Which historical movie is your all time favorite? » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Prime Video: Want to watch it now? We've got it. This week's newest movies, last night's TV shows, classic favorites, and more are available to stream instantly, plus all your videos are stored in Your Video Library. Over 150,000 movies and TV episodes,…

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 | Official Trailer | Netflix

All hail the queen. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina returns for Part 3 January 24, only on Netflix. Watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Only on Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/81062479 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films…

The Stranger | Official Trailer | Netflix

We all have secrets. Based on the novel by Harlan Coben, The Stranger forces us to confront a question we all fear - how well do we really know the people closest to us? Starring Richard Armitage, Jennifer Saunders, Siobhan Finneran and Hannah John-Kamen, The Stranger arrives January 30. The Stranger, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81011034…

The Outsider: Inside Look – Cast and Crew Talk About The First Two Episodes Featurette | HBO

Go inside the first two episodes of The Outsider with the cast and crew. #HBO #TheOutsiderHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 The 10-episode series follows police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn), as he sets out to investigate the mutilated body of 11-year-old Frankie Peterson found in the Georgia woods. The mysterious circumstances surrounding this…

Strong Black Laughs: The Bruce Bruce Interview | Podcast | Netflix

Janelle James kicks it with Bruce Bruce to talk about eating Snoop Dogg’s food on set, convincing Kevin Hart not to quit standup, how he ended up being referenced on Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize,” and how he went from being booed four times at the Apollo to becoming a legend. LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE &…

Official Cast Recap of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina | Parts 1 & 2 | Netflix

It's almost time. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 premieres January 24, and to get you ready, CAOS cast Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Gavin Leatherwood, Chance Perdomo andTati Gabrielle tell you everything that happened on the show so far, in an epic recap of parts 1 and 2. Watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Only on…

Morbius | Teaser Trailer | Reaction

Ashley reacts to and discusses the Morbius teaser trailer. ORIGINAL VIDEO: https://youtu.be/jLMBLuGJTsA Share your thoughts about the trailer in the comments below. And don't forget to subscribe to Ashley Talks Movies for more reviews and reactions. Other Ways to Follow ►TWITTER: https://bit.ly/34jpii3 ►LETTERBOXD: https://bit.ly/2N68562 Intro / Outro Music: –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Fresh by Ikson https://www.soundcloud.com/ikson Music promoted…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here