Run time: 107 minutes
Director: Alice Winocour
Cast: Eva Green, Matt Dillon, Zélie Boulant-Lemesle, Aleksey Fateev, Lars Eidinger, Sandra Hüller
Synopsis: Sarah is a French astronaut training at the European Space Agency in Cologne. She is the only woman in the arduous program. She lives alone with Stella, her seven-year-old daughter. Sarah feels guilty that she cannot spend more time with her child. Her love is overpowering, unsettling. When Sarah is chosen to be part of the crew of a year-long space mission called ‘Proxima’, it creates chaos in the mother/daughter relationship.
Selected as the Opening Gala of this year’s Glasgow Film Festival, Proxima is written and directed by France’s Alice Winocour [Augustine (2012), Disorder (2015)]. It features Eva Green giving a powerful, sensitive performance as Sarah, a trainee astronaut with a seven-year-old daughter. What develops is a heartfelt drama about the guilt and chaos caused in the mother/daughter relationship when she is chosen to be part of a year-long space mission called ‘Proxima’.
A single parent, and the only woman/mother in a diverse international crew, she is constantly torn between the conflicting demands of motherhood and professional ambition, and the focus required for the gruelling physical training needed for the mission to the International Space Station.
With beautiful cinematography by Georges Lechaptois, the film was shot in various real training facilities of the European Space Agency. Music by Ryuichi Sakamoto provides a wonderful addition to this superbly crafted and painfully realistic family drama.
From a strong ensemble cast, which includes Matt Dillon as an ‘old school’ American NASA veteran, especial credit must go to Zelie Boulant-Lemesle who plays Sarah’s daughter Stella. With this film, Director Winocour has delivered a deep, nuanced female and feminist exploration of identity, motherhood and personal ambition, which will resonate with many.
PROXIMA is out in UK and Irish cinemas from 8 May
Images courtesy of Picturehouse Entertainment