Proxima is about a female astronaut preparing to travel to space. More importantly it is about a mother preparing to leave her daughter. Sarah (Eva Green) accepts a position on a year long trip to the stars. It is a childhood dream come true, but is it worth the sacrifice? The film paints a picture of a strong woman and mother. Where Proxima succeeds is Sarah is never portrayed as an unflappable superhero. She has the same concerns and flaws of any other single working mother. The movie allows her to make mistakes and fail.
Green does an amazing job in making Sarah a relatable person. Be default, astronauts are placed on a pedestal. They live the dream as they walk among the stars. Green makes sure Sarah never feels too distant. She may be a great engineer who is headed to space, but she is also a woman. The character remains grounded in reality.
The same can be said of Proxima’s story. The entirety of the film takes place on Earth. The plot is an emotionally mature tale that is not concerned with science fiction. It is more about the difficulties of being human. Aiding Green is a very capable cast. Proxima does overplay the feminist tale card at times, however. In particular, Matt Dillon’s turn as a sexist American astronaut can be a little much. Dillon is great in the role (there is also more to him than it initially seems), but sometimes it seems he is just there to provide a foil.
On the flip side is a wonderful performance from Zelie Boulant as the young Stella. She is intense and passionate and is key to the audience understanding Sarah’s dilemma. The two have some wonderful exchanges. Proxima is a beautiful movie that is filled with heart and emotion. Eva Green gives the performance of her career. Heady themes such as motherhood and ambition are dealt with in an engaging manner.
Proxima comes to digital and VOD November 6.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!