Toronto Film Review: Natalie Portman in ‘Lucy in the Sky’

  • Variety
The term “space case” may as well have been invented for Lucy Cola, a fictional astronaut loosely inspired by Lisa Nowak, who famously (if not entirely factually) donned adult diapers and powered her way cross-country to confront a romantic rival at the Orlando airport, where she was arrested for what amounted to attempted kidnapping and battery. When the story broke — this was a dozen years back, in 2007 — news outlets and tabloids alike treated it as a kind of pathetic “Fatal Attraction” scenario, in which a jealous Nasa engineer couldn’t handle being dumped by one of her colleagues and went berserk.

Now, Natalie Portman offers an alternate interpretation. In its oddly understanding and stylistically ambitious way, “Lucy in the Sky” suggests that maybe outer space was to blame for Nowak’s actions. You see, as an astronaut, Nowak belonged to a very small club of super-achievers who have actually touched the heavens,
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