‘Lucy in the Sky’, the upcoming film that explores the darker side of space travel, just released its trailer. The movie stars Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm along with other notable actors like Dan Stevens, Nick Offerman, Zazie Beetz, Ellen Burstyn, Tig Notaro, Joe Williamson, and Colman Domingo. Noah Hawley, who is famous for working on ‘Fargo‘ and ‘Legion‘ is helming this film, in what will be his feature directorial debut. With the extremely impressive cast and Hawley in the director’s chair, it is hard not to have high expectations from the movie.
The trailer does not give away much, just showing a glimpse of Portman as the titular Lucy, who sees earth for the first time from outer space, while on a mission. When she returns to earth, her mission partner, Mark Goodwin, played by Hamm, tries to figure out whether she is holding up okay. Her family, especially her husband Drew played by Stevens, seems to be concerned about her, as Lucy begins to dissociate after the outer space experience. Lucy begins to hallucinate about galactic camping trips, floating above clouds, and visions of space. While astronauts have to go through rigorous mental and physical training before being okayed for space missions, Lucy still seems to have cracked from the magnitude of having taken a glimpse at the entire universe. Everything on earth seems smaller and insignificant to her in comparison and we see Lucy begin to spiral out towards the end of the trailer, possibly resulting in fatal consequences to herself and her loved ones. Although she insists she is ‘fine’ we doubt her as she seems to be in a bad headspace.
The trippy visuals and surrealistic scenes end with the famous Beatles song, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, on which the movie’s title is based. While Hawley made his name thanks to the FX shows, ‘Fargo’ and ‘Legion’, the visuals of the upcoming film seem to borrow more from ‘Legion’ than ‘Fargo’. This is kind of disappointing since the latter was the stronger of the two shows and although Hawley had started off with a strong Coen brothers‘ aesthetic, which is hard to ignore since the show was inspired by their film of the same name, he quickly developed his own style as the seasons progressed. Nonetheless, he seems more comfortable with the aesthetics of ‘Legion’ which suits the purpose of ‘Lucy in the Sky’. Hopefully, Hawley will not trade the impact of the narrative for the impact of grand visuals, which is where I feel ‘Legion’ lost out a little.
For those unaware, ‘Lucy in the Sky’ is loosely based on the real-life story of Lisa Marie Nowak, an astronaut, who also had a breakdown after returning from a space mission. In 2007, this woman drove from Houston to Orlando, nonstop, wearing diapers to prevent having to take bathroom breaks. She did this in order to kidnap the woman who was having a love affair with the astronaut who accompanied her on her space mission. While we do not know if Lucy’s tale will be as outlandish, her losing touch with reality is definitely something that Hawley is going to explore, and if the first season of ‘Legion’ was anything to go by, this is something he can do quite well. ‘Lucy in the Sky’ comes at an important juncture in human society when we are moving towards actualizing the possibility of commercial space flights and the film might make you wonder just how normal people will react when faced with the magnitude of outer space and their first overview of earth, which Carl Sagan described as the ‘pale blue dot‘.
‘Lucy in the Sky’ is scheduled to release sometime later in 2019, and you can check out the trailer of the film below.