Sarah Loreau is a French astronaut who is preparing for a one year mission aboard the International Space Station, attempting to balance the training with raising her 8 year old daughter Stella and coming to terms with leaving her behind.
Proxima is a truly incredible emotional journey into a very different space world to what we are used to seeing on screen. This is very much the build up and emotional trauma that is linked to those you are going to be leaving behind. So in fact it is a space film without actually going into space. That is something I throughly enjoyed about it, how it is a different approach which is female directed and led.
Sarah must deal not only with the trauma of leaving her daughter for a year but also fitting into the very male dominated environment. Feeling as though she had more to prove and working twice as hard as the men she was to work with on the mission. She does not really get off to the best starts with Mike when he tells her to ask for a lighter schedule. This causes her to push herself well past her limits and attempt to show that she can do even more than the men.
Stella not only has to deal with her mother leaving but also changing schools when she begins to live with her father. It is therefore about her coping as well, while also wondering how much of it she actually understands. The mother/daughter relationship is fantastic to see at the different stages and I was so moved and close to tears with the window scene. That really did break my heart!
It certainly raises plenty of questions surrounding the stigma that still exists around women now working more in different fields that are more dominated by men. Having to fit in many ways and work twice or even three times as hard to prove their worth. Something I have experience in as I work in a male dominated area and its not really a feeling that you can ever forget.
The performances in the film are truly outstanding with Eva Green really thriving in this leading role. Something I feel she has not been given a lot of throughout her career, often being more supporting and this proves that she can carry a film. She is outstanding moving between her native language of French and having English with a tiny bit of German as well. Then we have Zelie Boulant in her first film role giving an inspired performance, she worked so well with Green and Lars Eidinger. She is given some very emotional moments and captures them in the best possible manner.
Inspirational is probably the final word I really want to use to describe this film. So many scenes and moments are outstanding and while the full film is probably not what you expect from an astronaut based story. However, I feel it bridges a gap in what we know about space and the training from other films.