Big Sky (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jorge Michel Grau|
|Written by||Evan M. Wiener|
|Edited by||Erin Deck|
|Distributed by||Entertainment One|
Big Sky is a 2015 American drama thriller film directed by Jorge Michel Grau and starring Bella Thorne, Kyra Sedgwick, Frank Grillo, and Aaron Tveit. It was produced by The Archive and Papagjika Salloway Productions. Entertainment One gave it a limited release on August 14, 2015.
After their daughter Hazel turns 18, Dee's ex-husband threatens to cut off child support unless Hazel will get treatment for her crippling agoraphobia. Forced to take a van ride to the treatment center, Hazel struggles to enter the van. Though they have clashed over Dee's hard-living lifestyle and Hazel's neuroses, Hazel is comforted when her mother offers to come with her. To accommodate Hazel's fears, the treatment center allows her to travel in a box, where Hazel will be able to isolate herself from others and her environment.
While traveling through the desert, half-brothers Pru and Jesse attack the van to kidnap a wealthy heiress. Pru, mentally damaged from head trauma by his abusive mother, reacts erratically and shoots Dee. Although exasperated by the unnecessary violence, Jesse cleans up the scene of the crime by shooting everyone else but the heiress and Hazel, who remains hidden in her box. After Pru and Jesse leave, Hazel checks the others and finds her mother wounded but still alive. A map reveals a nearby reservation, which Hazel offers to travel to for help after applying first aid to Dee. After Hazel leaves, Dee finds a note written by Hazel that lists all the reasons why Hazel believes her mother to hate her.
Hazel slowly makes her way through the desert, forcing herself to concentrate on simple goals, such as reaching one cactus after another. Her pill-taking ritual is disturbed by the dusty weather, and she must abandon some of her pills when they become too dirty for her to put in her mouth. She hallucinates the ghost of her dead sister, who she was unable to save in a drowning accident. When Jesse learns from an inside contact that one of the patients is agoraphobic, he realizes that it could not have been Dee, whom he initially assumed was a patient. When he and Pru return to the van, they discover Hazel's empty box, and Jesse leaves to find her. Dee, who has located a pistol in the van, takes Pru hostage.
Meanwhile, Hazel runs into a junkie named Clete who quotes Aldous Huxley. Hazel eventually convinces Clete to help her, but his promised motorcycle turns out to have been disassembled. Despairing and not sure whether to further trust Clete as he begins to rant about women, Hazel pulls out pepper spray. Clete grabs it from her and in his craze pepper sprays himself, Hazel starts walking backwards away from him, trips on a rock and bumps her head. When Hazel wakes, she has been rescued by a kindly couple who found her just outside the reservation. They contact the police for her and offer to take her back to her mother.
On the trip, they meet a representative of the treatment center, who says he was dispatched to locate the missing van. He convinces Hazel to allow him to pick up her mother and bring them to the treatment center. Despite the representative's protestations, the kindly couple follow behind him, reasoning that they can help protect her with their rifles. All converge on Dee's location at approximately the same time, where she is still holding Pru at gunpoint. Jesse, revealed to be the local sheriff, attempts to take control of the situation, but Dee warns the others not to trust him. The representative attempts to parlay with Dee, but when he makes a move to attack her, the couple opens fire, killing him, Jesse, and Pru. Hazel rescues the kidnapped heiress and tearfully reconciles with her mother.
- Bella Thorne as Hazel
- Kyra Sedgwick as Dee
- Frank Grillo as Jesse
- Aaron Tveit as Pru. Tveit said of his character, "You come to find out he got hit in the head with a shovel by his mom and because of this, he has some issues."
- François Arnaud as Clete
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 20% of 10 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 4.4/10. Metacritic rated it 36/100 based on seven reviews. Dennis Harvey of Variety wrote, "Evan M. Wiener’s screenplay throws in too many disparate elements without developing any of them very effectively, while Grau’s direction is slick but unable to provide the tension or consistency needed." John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film includes too many quirky characters, but Grau "captures [Thorne's] struggle with empathy and dignity". Andy Webster of The New York Times, although complimenting the other actors, said that Thorne is not ready to handle a lead role. Michael Rechtshaffen of the Los Angeles Times called it a "tedious waste of space" that seems to have been made up as the filmmakers went along.
- "Big Sky (2015)". The Wrap. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- "Cinema Village - Movie Information". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved 2015-06-29.
- Dave Trumbore (October 10, 2013). "Bella Thorne and Kyra Sedgwick Tackle BIG SKY". Collider. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- Paul Wontorek (October 8, 2013). "Exclusive! Aaron Tveit on Two New Movie Roles and How Big Fish Buddy Norbert Leo Butz Made Him Cry". Broadway.com. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "François Arnaud | Rebel Agency". Agent Rebel. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
... as also BIG SKY opposite Kyra Sedgwick for Killer Films.
- Silas Lesnick (October 11, 2013). "Bella Thorne, Kyra Sedgwick and Frank Grillo Head to Big Sky". Coming Soon. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "Big Sky (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- "Big Sky". Metacritic. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- Harvey, Dennis (August 16, 2015). "Film Review: 'Big Sky'". Variety. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- DeFore, John (August 15, 2015). "'Big Sky': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- Webster, Andy (August 13, 2015). "Review: In 'Big Sky,' Starring Bella Thorne, Mortal Fears Collide". The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- Rechtshaffen, Michael (August 13, 2015). "Review 'Big Sky' is a big void where a thriller could have been". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 10, 2016.