Film Review: Proxima

Whilst Eva Green proves to be consistently popular with viewers, she doesn’t always get the credit she deserves for her acting ability. The French actor is an equally at home in English as French, best known for her eye-catching performances in Penny Dreadful, as Versper Lynd in Casino Royal or hamming it up in a Tim Burton joint. However, there’s much more to armoury, as demonstrated in her feature debut Dreamers or in Gregg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard. Her latest film, Proxima, is a career high.

Ever since she was a girl, Sarah (Green) has dreamt of voyaging into space. Living in Cologne and working at the European Space Agency, her livelong ambition is about to come to fruition when she’s chosen to be part of the crew on a year-long mission. The only woman on the programme, Sarah has to balance this gruelling training with bringing up her own star, the eight-year-old Stella (Zélie Boulant-Lemesle). As we countdown to launch, Sarah has to navigate a tense relationship with her ex-husband (Lars Eidinger) and deal with her overbearing colleague (Matt Dillon), who doesn’t think she’s up to the task.

Whilst Proxima has its head in the clouds, its feet are firmly grounded. Drama trumps adventure in Alice Winocour’s film, with Green grabbing the headlines with a subtle and powerful performance. Although Sarah’s heading into space, the domestic and work situations she finds herself in are symptomatic of the challenges faced by millions of women across the world. There’s also a welcome supporting role for Sandra Hüller as Sarah’s despairing psychologist. Proxima is a timely film featuring a star performance from and actor in her prime.  

Proxima is out in cinemas on 31 July.

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