Natalie Portman stars in a drama that is loosely based on the case of Lisa Nowak, the Nasa astronaut who was disgraced after attacking the girlfriend of her ex-lover. The feature debut from Noah Hawley pushes the idea that, once someone has ventured into space, readjusting to life back on Earth can be a struggle. This theme – of an all-consuming job that bends everything else out of shape – has been explored more successfully before, by Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and by Portman herself in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, among others.

Here, however, there are tonal issues. Neither as coolly observational as The Hurt Locker nor as stridently bonkers as Black Swan, Lucy in the Sky is low on real insight and feels like a psychology column in a supermarket tabloid. Portman gives her all, but she out-classes this rather pedestrian telling of a story of stratospheric levels of obsession and ambition.

Watch a trailer for Lucy in the Sky.


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