Natalie Portman on Lucy in the Sky criticism

Lucy in the Sky actress Natalie Portman opened up with the Los Angeles Times about the film’s negative reaction following the world premiere in Toronto.

What is surprising is that Portman isn’t surprised by the universal panning.

The movie isn’t, as she calls it, “easy.” It’s about a complicated woman who is neither hero nor villain — the kind of character who, Portman understands, can make audiences uneasy because “they don’t know how they’re supposed to feel about her.”

The film served as the feature film directorial debut for Noah Hawley. Hawley created both Legion and the award-winning Fargo mini-series for FX. This background combined with Natalie Portman leading a cast that included but Jon Hamm and Zazie Beetz led to an anticipated premiere in Toronto. What followed was a lot of negative buzz on a late Wednesday night. Most of the highly buzzed films held their Toronto premieres from Friday evening through Monday night. The Wednesday evening slot certainly did no favors with so many critics having left town already.

Natalie Portman on Lucy in the Sky criticism
TORONTO, ONTARIO – SEPTEMBER 11: Cast and Crew attend the “Lucy In The Sky” premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 11, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

As with many films that get negative reviews, there is bound to be an audience. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen for Lucy in the Sky. Natalie Portman’s performance but because of the film’s negative reviews, her shot at awards season is threatened.

Coming out of the world premiere on a Wednesday night in mid-September, one of the comparisons frequently cited was Fatal Attraction. According to the article, there were concerns by Hawley that the film would follow along those lines.  It’s enough that Mad Men star Jon Hamm commented on how men and women are compared when they lose their tempers: “If a guy loses his temper, he’s seen as being strong. And if a woman loses her temper, she’s being emotional or crazy. It’s not fair, and it’s not right.”

Portman also spoke about coming back for Thor: Love and Thunder, working with Time’s Up, and Annihilation being dumped internationally on Netflix.

Fox Searchlight Pictures opens Lucy in the Sky in theaters on October 4, 2019.

About Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is a film critic and aspiring filmmaker living in Chicago. She is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle, Galeca: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Online Association of Female Film Critics, Online Film Critics Society, and the Online Film & Television Association.

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