2019 is clearly going to be the year of the down-to-Earth space drama. With James Gray and Brad Pitt tackling issues of father/son relationships and the ideas of masculinity in “Ad Astra” and Natalie Portman’s “Lucy in the Sky” taking on astronaut mental illness and jealousy, the grounded space drama subgenre gets a third entry with the upcoming “Proxima.”
As seen in the first trailer for “Proxima,” the film follows the story of a female astronaut that has to train for a massively important year-long mission in space but also deal with the drama of raising a daughter. The film puts the relationship between mother and daughter under a microscope with the background of a huge space mission adding a bit of spice.
The film stars Eva Green, Matt Dillon, Zélie Boulant-Lemesle, Aleksey Fateev, Lars Eidinger, and Sandra Hüller. “Proxima” is written and directed by Alice Winocour. The film marks her third feature, with her two previous projects, “Disorder” and “Augustine,” released in 2015 and 2012, respectively, having debuted at the Cannes Film Festival.
We saw the film at this year’s TIFF, where “Proxima” was merely one of a few space dramas playing, and our thoughts were mixed. The reviewer said, “Its necessity is undeniable, but hopefully, it’ll soon be one of many examples of its kind – special for its style and structure as much as its story. There’s nothing wrong with a Sad Dad in Space, but it is high-time moviegoers demanded more.”
“Proxima” just premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and a theatrical rollout has not been announced.
Here’s the synopsis:
As the French member — and the only mother — on an international crew, Sarah balances the taxing physical training required for a year-long mission aboard the International Space Station with her daughter Stella’s routine of meals and bedtimes. Sarah’s powerful, protective love for Stella, only seven, sometimes pulls at her commitment to her profession. Her male colleagues include an old-school Russian and a veteran American space cowboy (Matt Dillon), both seemingly untroubled by their own family responsibilities. As the liftoff date approaches, Sarah must travel to the launch site and go into quarantine — away from her daughter, who is struggling with her mother’s conflicting priorities. Will Stella’s matter-of-fact counsellor (Toni Erdmann’s brilliant Sandra Hüller) bridge their emotional divide?