SPACE ODDITY – Review by Lois Alter Mark

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Kyra Sedgwick’s directorial debut is a charming little film with lofty aspirations. Although, like its main character, the aptly named Space Oddity aims high but never quite gets there, it’s well worth an hour and a half of your time, proving that the journey is, indeed, more important than the destination.

Space Oddity is about a young man named Alex (Kyle Allen) who is preparing for his upcoming trip to Mars. No, he is not an astronaut and, no, this is not a NASA-sanctioned mission. Rather, he has been enlisted by a private group whose legitimacy is questionable at best. But, despite his family’s misgivings, he is determined to leave behind the life he knows for a one way trip to a world no one has ever even visited.

Everyone thinks Alex is insane but what he really is is grief-stricken over the loss of his brother. We don’t learn the details of his brother’s death until late in the movie, but it has understandably shaken the family. Alex’s dad (Kevin Bacon, to whom Sedgwick boasts only one degree of separation as his real-life wife) has thrown himself into the thankless work of maintaining the family farm, Alex’s mom (Carrie Preston) indulges him in order to ensure he’ll get out of bed every morning, and his sister (Madeline Brewer) has become a high-powered PR executive who tries to convince all three family members that it’s time to start dealing with reality.

The emotions are raw and real and, as viewers, it’s impossible not to root for Alex and his family to heal. When Alex meets Daisy (Alexandra Shipp), who recently moved to town in an attempt to run away from her own life, it’s inevitable – yet still fun to watch – that they will end up together.

Space Oddity has its flaws and is unlikely to reach any box office heights but it establishes Sedgwick as a director worth watching. I look forward to her sophomore effort and I know she’ll be aiming for the moon. I have no doubt she will eventually reach it.

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Lois Alter Mark

Lois Alter Mark is an award-winning writer who reviews films on Midlife at the Oasis. A former contributing writer for Entertainment Weekly for more than a decade, she also reviewed films for for many years. She is a member of San Diego Film Critics Society and tweets from @loisaltermark. She writes about travel for USA Today and Forbes.