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Lucy In The Sky Trailer: Natalie Portman Leads All-Star Cast

No diamonds here, only existential crises.

The first trailer has arrived for Lucy in the Sky, starring Natalie Portman as an astronaut who begins to feel a bit out of her element back home on Earth after returning from a mission. The flick is the big-screen directorial debut of Noah Hawley, creator of the acclaimed FX series Fargo and Legion.

One thing is immediately apparent here: Hawley knows how to assemble a cast. Portman is an Academy Award winner for her role in 2010's Black Swan, and she's not alone; co-star Ellen Burstyn has been nominated no fewer than six times, taking home a statue for Martin Scorsese's 1974 drama Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Also appearing are Emmy winner Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Nick Offerman (Bad Times at the El Royale), Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast), Tig Notaro (Star Trek: Discovery), Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead), and the red-hot Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2).

Another safe observation: this is not your average sci-fi flick. Portman portrays a space jockey by the unlikely name of Lucy Cola, a married woman who begins an affair with peer Mark Goodwin (Hamm) shortly after her return to terra firma. When her lover then begins fooling around with a trainee (Beetz), things begin to slip for Lucy, who is suddenly unsure of her place in the world in the most profound sense. While the new trailer features brief moments of arresting, surreal imagery, we get the distinct feeling that said moments only represent the tip of the iceberg.

The spot opens with a shot of an enormous space vessel orbiting the Earth, which gives way to an image of Lucy adrift in the cosmos, completely in awe of the planet beneath her. "Specialist," a voice on her communicator implores. "Lucy? Time to wrap it up. We're going home." We see Hamm's Goodwin ferrying a crew of astronauts in a shuttle, including Lucy, sporting a thousand-yard stare. 

Then, her arrival back home; there are brief shots of Lucy walking somewhat unsteadily down a hall, greeting her loving family, and driving home, during which the frame slowly tightens to a much smaller aspect ratio, implying the astronaut's sense of uneasy claustrophobia. "I just feel a little off," she says in voiceover, as the trailer restlessly cuts between her time in space and Earthbound shots of Lucy exercising, bringing the thousand-yard stare back for a repeat performance while standing in her kitchen, and going out for drinks with friends (employing the same tight aspect ratio for the scenes on Earth, and opening it back up to standard for shots of the great void). "You go up there, you see... the whole universe," she tells her buddies, as a ghostly countdown is heard in the background. "Everything here looks so small." We see the beginnings of her affair with Goodwin, and then... the weirdness.

Lucy simply begins to rise up into the air of her own accord, marveling along with us as an airplane glides beneath her feet (the trailer's editors could have been forgiven for breaking the atmosphere slightly by soundtracking this shot with the Talking Heads' "And She Was," but we digress). Cut to Lucy and her lover engaged in an embrace as the truck bed they're laying in seems to simply open up to reveal space, the Moon, and stars, which is not something that typically happens.

"You got to see the vast, celestial everything," Goodwin is seen telling Lucy. "And it blew your mind. So now, nothing makes sense." A series of quick shots show us Lucy's increasing inner (and outer, for that matter) turmoil contrasted with the peacefulness of the void; there's one brief, disturbing shot of a young girl sitting in the backseat of a car examining a gun, and a slow-motion sequence featuring Lucy running up the ramp of a parking garage in a driving rainstorm as police, sirens blaring, pursue her. 

In the spot's final sequence, Lucy is seen facing an unseen party (perhaps a psychiatrist) in an office. "Lucy?" the man says, but it takes her a moment to snap out of her reverie. "I'm fine," she says, as everything going on underneath her flimsy smile broadcasts exactly the opposite. An eerie version of a familiar harpsichord refrain is heard over the title card, although it's quite clear that Lucy isn't picturing herself in a boat on a river, with or without tangerine trees and marmalade skies; the trailer concludes with a creepy image of a lone astronaut, floating outside a window against a darkened sky.

Lucy in the Sky looks like excellent material for the sensibility of Hawley, who has shown himself to be a visual stylist of some note in directing episodes of both his FX series. The script, which he co-wrote with freshman screenwriters Brian C. Brown and Elliott DiGiuseppi, was loosely based on the widely-publicized case of astronaut Lisa Nowak, who went to extreme measures in attempting to resolve a similar love triangle; however, we emphasized the word "loosely," as the trio appear to have simply used the story as a jumping-off point for a surreal, hallucinogenic examination of the deteriorating psyche of Mrs. Cola (although the true story is, in its way, no less weird).

The flick has been in the works for some time now; it was previously titled Pale Blue Dot before picking up a much cooler title and rounding out its stellar (no pun intended) cast. It appears that it will have been worth the wait for those who enjoy a little compelling drama mixed in with their heady, weird science fiction (Arrival fans, take note). No release date has yet been set, but we expect that announcement any old time now; Lucy in the Sky is expected to drop sometime later this year, presumably on one of the few weekends during which a massively anticipated superhero or horror tentpole won't be shouldering it out of the marketplace. We'll keep our eyes peeled for additional details.