LUCY IN THE SKY Review — Don’t Picture Yourself in a Car With a …

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Lucy in the Sky Review — The “astronaut in a diaper” stigma does this film no favors.

Lucy in the Sky reviewSome viewers might have been intrigued hearing that Lucy in the Sky is loosely based on the real life story of Lisa Nowak, a NASA astronaut who fulfilled a mission on the Space Shuttle Discovery, then came back down to earth and landed in infamy for reportedly driving across country in a diaper and a fit of pique to feloniously accost her lover’s lover.

The real life story is far more sordid than that, and Nowak claims she never donned a diaper…at least on that infamous drive. Astronauts wear a diaper of sorts at almost all times when they’re in space.

But that damn diaper story sucks up all the air in the room, and all the air in the movie. From the very beginning, you think, “so when is the diaper drive happening?” And if you’ve read anything on the film prior to seeing it, you know it never does.

If you just forget about that, what you have here is a rather intriguing and well-acted piece on an astronaut who, after experiencing the wonders of space, finds it difficult to adjust to her mundane life on terra firma, and makes epically bad decisions as she tries to deal with her dilemma.

Natalie Portman is sublime as Lucy Cola, the striving perfectionist who has had to work ten times harder than her male counterparts to achieve the same ultimate goal. Once that goal is achieved, however, where to go? What to do? What’s there left to sacrifice for?

Noah Hawley, director of the television version of Fargo, makes his big screen debut by asking and answering these questions with often tragic answers. The film is beautifully shot, lyric, and lovely at times, and encourages viewers to dig deeper for an interpretation than the tawdry headlines would suggest.

Since it’s so closely associated with the Lisa Nowak story, many find fault because it doesn’t more literally follow her narrative. That’s a shame. The film can and should stand on its own.

Rated R

2 Hours 4 Minutes

If this Lucy in the Sky review encourages you to take a wild drive to the cinema to see it, get times and tickets at

Lucy in the Sky Review — The “astronaut in a diaper” stigma does this film no favors.


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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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