Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Proxima - Movie Review

The Movie: Proxima

The Director: Alice Winocour

The Cast: Eva Green, Zélie Boulant-Lemesle, Matt Dillon, Lars Eidinger, Sandra Hüller, Aleksey Fateev

The Story: An astronaut prepares for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station.

The Review:
If Eva Green is in a movie, I will watch it. Yes, I'm a fan which is what led me to this movie. While the larger idea of the movie is about a woman training to go into space, the real story that I found while watching it is one of motherhood and family and the connections we share. How do we deal with being apart from each other, especially family and, beyond that, especially the bond between a mother and her daughter. Green plays Sarah Loreau, an astronaut from France who is given the opportunity of a lifetime which will has her joining a crew who will spend a year on the International Space Station.

I like the narratives of duty and family that director Alice Winocour weaves together so eloquently and also so brutally, I mean, I'm not a parent so I don't know what raising a child is like but watching this movie lays it side by side with the rigorous training of someone preparing to embark on an extremely dangerous mission. Just as Sarah seems about to fail, she digs deeper to find more strength and more resolve and more inspiration to keep going forward. That last sentence could be about either of her missions, the astronaut and the mom, and her courage with both endeavors is the driving force of the story.

The filmmakers also add in a bit of social commentary when it comes to how women are seen within the global space program and how Sarah has to fight every step of the way just to be taken seriously let alone excel and eventually succeed. I think this is also where Green is at her best. She really holds nothing back when it comes to showing both the strength of her character and the show of strength her character must have on display at all times if that makes sense. I say this because she also shows Sarah struggle with basically everything, she struggles physically, emotionally, and psychologically. There are times where she nearly breaks but you just know she's not going to because of the determination and resolve that Green has laid out as a foundation for the character.

Speaking of characters, it was fun to see Matt Dillon in this movie and he's really good at playing the all American soldier boy who has lived out his dreams and taken full advantage of his privilege to become one of the world's elite astronauts. That's not to say his character isn't worthy of his position but he also puts his American bravado on full display. Also on board is Zélie Boulant who plays Sarah's daughter Stella and wow what a firecracker of a young woman she is especially when going toe to toe with Green during some of the more emotional and stressful moments.

The Verdict:
Proxima is a salute to the women of the world's space programs and Eva Green has created a character that embodies all of them. Director Alice Winocour has created a solid and steady movie that has just the right mix of emotion and inspiration.

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