Director: Alice Winocour
Writer: Alice Winocour (Screenplay)
Starring: Eva Green, Zelie Boulant, Matt Dillon, Aleksey Fateev, Lars Eidinger, Sandra Huller
Plot: An astronaut prepares for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station.
Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Proxima starts as we meet Sarah Loreau (Green) who has just been selected for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station, her dream chance to go into space, only back home she has a daughter Stella (Boulant) who she has raised alone and is going to have to spend the year with her father Thomas (Eidinger).
As the launch approaches, Sarah is left in the difficult position of following her dream or supporting her daughter, showing that a mother will always be put in a harder position to leave a child behind compared to a father.
Thoughts on Proxima
Characters & Performances – Sarah Loreau is the astronaut and mother who has just been selected for an International Space Station mission, this will see her leaving Earth for a whole year, leaving her to make arrangements for her daughter, while dealing with getting to know the new team, which does see her battling sexism. We see just how important this mission is for her, which shows us how hard she has worked to get here, along with how close of a connection she has with her daughter that she will have to give up. Eva Green is brilliant in the leading role, needing to keep strong around the other astronaut characters, her daughter and the people making the decisions, while alone she can let everything out. Stella is the young daughter that has been struggling at school and will need to learn to adapt to a new life with her father, where she has no friends, she wants her mother around her, which is going to be difficult for her to deal with losing. Young Zelie Boulant does show the confusion of what is going on, as well as how difficult it would be for the daughter. Mike Shannon is the America astronaut that is leading the mission, he is harder on Sarah with how he treats her, be it with how he looks down on her and even offers her lighter training, he seems to be sexist without knowing how sexist he is being through the mission prep, but he does seem to respect her work skills. Matt Dillon does well through this film, playing the cocky arrogant American well and how you would imagine them.
Story – The story here follows a female astronaut that has been selected for one-year-long space mission that needs to prepare life for her daughter and battle sexism to fulfil her dream. We get to tackle astronaut preparation on a different level than anything we have seen before, seeing how difficult it would be to be separated from a young child, we have seen plenty of training montages before. Showing the decision making process and the pain it is causing Sarah is the highlight of the story, knowing it is going to be earned her decision as any parent would find it difficult to do.
Themes – Proxima uses the settings to show us the distance Sarah is going to have to live away just preparing for the mission, we hold back on not needing special effects by focusing on the drama of the situation instead.