Proxima

French female astronaut has been told that she is joining the team which is embarking on a one year trip named Proxima. Not only does she have to wrap her brain around leaving her planet for that long, but the single mother also has to prepare for leaving her seven-year-old daughter for the extended period. This is going to be the toughest as they have a very close, maybe even co-dependent, relationship.

Sarah (Eva Green – from television’s Penny Dreadful) feels completely guilty about leaving her daughter, Stella (Zelie Boulant – Morceaux de Moi), for a year. She will be staying with her father (Lars Eidinger – Clouds of Sils Maria, Personal Shopper), but neither is happy about the separation. Her young daughter is quite angry causing tension between mother and daughter during the last time they spend together.

Being the only woman in the flight crew, led by American Mike Shannon (Matt Dillon – There’s Something About Mary, Crash), is tough enough then there is the added worry of her daughter. The team is doing their final training for the trip at the European Space Agency in Cologne. While doing this her daughter is being watched over by Wendy Hauer (Sandra Huller – Toni Erdmann, Requiem).

Not your typical sci-fi film, this is more about human emotion. A mother-daughter relationship. About a single mother who is trying to balance a uniquely demanding career with mothering. It is not really about going into space, rather it is about what humans who are doing this are leaving behind. Another thing to add to the sacrifice list for astronauts.

The emotions here are rather earnest both on the part of mother and daughter. We get rather up close and intimate with their relationship. The quiet moments between the two as well as the rather louder ones in which a youngster doesn’t really understand why she has to be without the most important person in her life for so long. From the mother’s side we get to see that pain which soon morphs into a different kind of pain when, after time passes, she realizes her daughter is settling into her new reality quite comfortably. If this is happening before she leaves then what will happen over the year she is gone?

While this is not a fantastic film, some will find it rather bland due to its rather even tone, what is strong is Eva Green’s performance. Once again she proves herself to be a rather talented actress capable of portraying a wide variety of characters. She is the centre of the film and does her best to carry it.

Though the film involves space it is rather a down to earth story. A rather “small” story. Personal. Intimate. Makes us question about our drive for space exploration as all we really need is right here on Earth.

Available on VOD platforms.

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