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Sat. May 30th, 2020

Film Review: Eva Green just needs a little space in ‘Proxima’

The annual ‘Rendezvous with French Cinema‘ series opens tomorrow (March 5th) at the Film at Lincoln Center in New York, screening over 20 films through March 15th. I’ll be reviewing several, starting today with Alice Winocour’s Proxima starring Eva Green and Matt Dillon.

I don’t know about you but I could watch Eva Green do anything. Cook eggs, brush her hair, get possessed by devils, fly on an elephant, drown alongside James Bond in a collapsing Venetian apartment building, have a virtual ménage à trois with her brother Louis Garrel — now this is a woman who can have, and has had, it all. No wonder she was drawn to Proxima, director Alice Winocour’s stellar and moving new film about a space astronaut who also just happens to be a mom, since the meat of the thing lay in its microscopic dissection of what “having it all” means specifically for such a spectacular woman.

We first meet Sarah Loreau (Green) in the middle of her training to maybe get strapped onto a gigantic rocket and flung into the great unknown for an entire year. She’s clearly smart and clearly capable — per the usual when it comes to women working in a so-called “men’s field” she’s probably twice as smart and twice as capable, actually. But all of that focus and determination, the inhuman hard work of it, well there’s only so much energy and time one person can expend. That’s just science.

And so try as Sarah might, something’s got to give. Space, her daughter. Proxima is an on-the-ground detailed account of what making absolutely unthinkable, astronomical decisions looks like. And it feels, dare I say, particularly feminine in its way of doing this — not to be too reductive but a male filmmaker usually tells their version of this exact story, the story of a man’s epic wrestle with His Place In The Universe, like James Gray did in Ad Astra. The struggle set against the unfathomable depths of the cosmos, their inner self splayed out across all of the stars. These men’s bared souls become starlight, abstract gas explosions — inner-self evaluation is such an immense task only infinity itself can come close to the emotions.

Continue to the rest of the review at My New Plaid Pants…

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