In Lucy in the Sky, Natalie Portman plays Lucy Cola, a strong woman whose determination and drive take her into space as an astronaut, where she is deeply touched by the transcendent experience of her life far away. Back home, Lucy suddenly feels too small, her connection to reality slowly dissolving. (Courtesy of Fox Pictures Spotlight)
A brief review of the film “Lucy in the Sky”.
The following is a summary of the spoilers.
Lucy Cola (Natalie Portman) makes her first space flight for NASA. During the flight, she is overwhelmed by experiences and feelings that have changed her forever. Upon her return to Earth, Lucy feels disconnected from her normal life with her husband Drew (Dan Stevens) and her niece Blue (Pearl Amanda Dixon), whom she helps raise after her brother becomes an absentee father. NASA orders Lucy to rest and attend therapy. However, Lucy continues to exert herself physically and mentally to be selected for one of the upcoming return missions to space.
During her training, Lucy meets a young astronaut named Erin Eccles (Zazie Beatz). She gets along with Erin because they are both women in a male-dominated world, but she still sees her as a rival. Lucy begins to spend more and more time with other astronauts who have gone into space because she finds her husband Drew boring and unlikely. Finally, Lucy begins a passionate romance with another astronaut, Mark Goodwin (Jon Hamm), who seems to understand her experiences in space.
During training, Lucy is determined to break the record recently set by Erin, who nearly drowned during an underwater test. The monitoring team admits that Lucy remained perfectly calm during the accident and that her heartbeat stopped when she could no longer breathe. Soon after, Lucy goes out to dinner with Drew and meets Mark for a date with Erin. When she realizes that they are also having an affair, Lucy begins to feel increasingly isolated from her husband. Lucy confronts Mark and demands that he end the relationship with Erin. Mark suggests that he will end the relationship.
Shortly thereafter, Lucy’s grandmother, Nana Holbrook (Ellen Burstyn), dies of a stroke. Nana raised Lucy and instilled in her a work ethic, as well as Lucy’s aspirations, so the loss affects Lucy deeply. Drew begins to worry about Lucy’s increasingly erratic behavior. After his grandmother’s funeral, Lucy leaves her husband and takes Blue with her. Lucy breaks into the public restroom of a bowling alley and feels her world crumbling around her.
Back at NASA, one of the directors, Frank Paxton (Colman Domingo), confronts Lucy about a near-drowning incident and the information that she is missing therapy sessions. Frank tells her that she is eligible for a spot on an upcoming shuttle mission. Frank reconciles and tells Lucy that she can qualify for the mission again in three years. Lucy is furious, and her paranoia leads her to believe that she was taken aboard for hidden reasons. She hacks Mark’s computer in his office and reads several emails showing that he has continued his affair with Erin. To make matters worse, she finds an email from Mark to NASA recommending that Lucy not be sent on the next mission. Later, Lucy learns that Erin has been chosen for the mission Mark commanded, a place Lucy coveted.
Lucy’s grip on reality continues to crumble. She decides to take revenge on Mark and Erin. Lucy knows the mysterious couple want to escape together and wants to surprise them when they get off the plane in San Diego. Lucy takes the blue one who is mistaken for her. Along the way, Lucy hallucinates with her grandmother and leaves strange messages for NASA. Lucy puts on a wig and follows Mark and Erin to the airport. Once in the parking lot, Lucy has tears in Mark’s eyes until Erin shows up. Lucy sprays Mark with fly spray and blinds him. Mark leaves. The police surround the garage and a crazed Lucy tries to escape from them. She wants to commit suicide by reaching for the roof of the garage, but is eventually stopped by the police. The police find an assortment of weapons and tools in her car.
Three years later, Blue is giving a presentation for the class with Drew. Lucy works as a beekeeper after divorcing her husband. As she closes one of the hives, she opens the hood of her coveralls and smiles as bees and a single butterfly fly around her.
More information about the film
Frequently asked questions
What is the plot of “Lucy in the Sky”?
The film is loosely based on the life of NASA astronaut Lisa Novak, who reportedly wore a diaper during a 14-hour cross-country trip to meet her former lover’s new flame, becoming the first female astronaut ever arrested.
Is “Lucy in the sky” a true story?
“Lucy in Heaven,” a new feature film, stars Natalie Portman as the fictional astronaut Lucy Cola. The film tells the story of how Cola changed after her first flight into space as part of NASA’s space shuttle program. The film is about how Cola’s life changed after her first flight into space … The film is based on the true story of former NASA astronaut Lisa Novak.
Who is Lucy Cola based on?
Lisa Novak is the woman on whom Portman’s Lucy Cola character is based. Novak was a NASA astronaut and former Navy captain who made a space flight aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2006.