Life

Everything we know about Natalie Portman’s new space drama Lucy in the Sky

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published

Watch the trailer of Natalie Portman’s new film, Lucy in the Sky, which tells the frenzied story of an astronaut who will do anything to go back to space.

“I saw my house from space, not literally, but my life.” 

These are the words that Natalie Portman opens the Lucy in the Sky trailer with, a new space drama about fiercely ambitious NASA astronaut Lucy Cola, who is changed forever after entering outer space for the first time. And the line perfectly summarises how Cola has stepped outside of her life… and doesn’t know how to step back in.

The first trailer gives a glimpse into Cola’s transition from having a hard-working ethos and passion for her career to unraveling both in her work and personal life, becoming obsessive, reckless and crazed. 

The film is tipped to be good, in fact really good, with a stand out cast and impressive set of writers and producers behind it, too. 

Jon Hamm and Natalie Portman star in Lucy in the Sky.
Jon Hamm and Natalie Portman star in Lucy in the Sky.

What is Lucy in the Sky about?

As previously mentioned, Natalie Portman plays the lead character in the film, Lucy Cola, an impressive and accomplished NASA astronaut from somewhere in the south of America, who gets the chance to attend a space mission. She lives with her husband Drew (Dan Stevens) and is close to her mother Ellen (Nana Holbrook).

But while floating in outer space, outside of the space craft and entirely alone, Cola experiences something that changes her forever. After seeing the world from this perspective she struggles to know her place in it anymore, losing her grip on reality and it seems, eventually her sanity. 

When she returns to earth Cola starts acting differently. In the trailer we see her cheat on her husband with charismatic fellow astronaut Mark Goodwin (Jon Hamm) who she also considers a rival and threat to her next space mission. She becomes frantic about getting back out to space again, unable to sleep and pushing her body to the limit to make the next space craft crew. She misses appointments and is described by others as NASA at “inconsistent” and at one point, starts tearing the wallpaper from the walls of her home in what could be interpreted as a nod to The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Who is the cast of Lucy in the Sky?

With Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm, Dan Stevens and Nana Holbrook, the cast is looking pretty darn good. Joining them will be Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) as Erin Eccles, Colman Domingo (Selma) as Frank Paxton, Tig Notaro as Kate Mounier and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) as Dr. Plimpton.

The film is directed by Noah Hawley and co-produced by John Cameron, Noah Hawley, Bruna Papandrea and the incredible Reese Witherspoon. 

Is it a true story? 

Although Lucy in the Sky is not a true story, it is apparently inspired by NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak who made her first space mission in July 2006 and was arrested less than a year later in February 2007. Her charges included kidnapping, burglary with assault and battery against U.S. Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman, who started a relationship with astronaut William Oefelein, shortly after a two-year affair between Nowak and Oefelein ended. 

You might also recognise the similarities between the name of the film and the famous Beatles song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Although no official comparison has been drawn, an instrumental version of the song does feature in the film, and you could interpret the song’s fantastical content as representation of losing a grip on reality, which is mirrored in the film. 

Is Lucy in the Sky a feminist film?

From the little we’ve seen, the plot certainly seems to tackle some feminist themes. As we know opportunities in STEM industries, and particularly to be an astronaut, are harder to come by for women and Portman’s character seems very aware of this in the trailer. Not only does the character work hard to push away female stereotypes, at one point she actually accuses her superior of pulling her off a mission because she’s a woman, challenging him: “If I was a man you would…” before he interrupts her. 

When will the film be released?

Lucy in the Sky will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 11 September, with a US release date being pegged for 4 October. The UK release date is still currently under wraps. 

Don’t miss out: sign up to the Stylist Daily email for a curated edit of brilliant content every day

Images: Fox

Topics

Share this article

Author

Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

Recommended by Megan Murray

Life

Natalie Portman is playing the first-ever female Thor, and we’re so here for it

Another female superhero? Yes please.

Posted by
Lauren Geall
Published
People

Reese Witherspoon didn’t want to star in Cruel Intentions, and for good reason

“I remember finding Annette too demure and too much of a woman influenced by a guy’s manipulations,” says the actress.

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
Life

NASA is finally ready to send the first woman to the moon – 50 years after the Apollo mission

It'll be the first step in getting people to Mars.

Posted by
Sarah Shaffi
Published
Visible Women

This Netflix documentary tells the untold story of NASA's women astronauts

Mercury 13 tells the story of 13 female astronauts

Posted by
Emily Reynolds
Published
People

Astronaut Peggy Whitson smashes another space record

Can we be her when we grow up?

Posted by
Amy Swales
Published