Directed and co-written by Fabienne Berthaud (helming her third feature length film) Sky is a melodrama that staggers its way from Palm Springs to Las Vegas. Starring Diane Kruger and Norman Reedus as two ships whose paths cross in the town of Vegas, it follows a journey of self discovery and reluctant love.
The film starts with Kruger as one half of a French couple who are in the American Southwest to tour and patch up their marriage. Unfortunately, Romy (Kruger) and Richard (Gilles Lellouche) come unstuck at a Palm Springs motel. He gets drunk and tries to rape his wife. Her reaction it to hit him in the head with a lamp several times.
Romy flees the room and the husband she thinks is dead.
The first of the film meanders all over the place. She purchases a junker car for a $1000 and makes her escape. Finally she turns herself into Detective Ruther (played by Joshua Jackson) who tells the French citizen that her husband is not dead.
She visits Richard only to tell him that she is leaving. Romy gets a lift to Las Vegas from Duane (played by Lou Diamond Phillips in a “blink and you’ll miss him” cameo) where she finally meets Diego (Reedus).
The two start an unlikely romance that deepens eventually into an uneasy relationship. Diego has a secret that he is reluctant to share and Romy, despite her claims to the contrary, falls head over heels in love with the veteran. His coughing is alarming but like a true “old fashioned kind of guy” he explains nothing till later.
Lena Dunham has a small role as Diego’s sister-in-law, Billie. Dunham does a brilliant job as the dumpster diving wife of Joe (Trevor Peterson). She is oddly likable even though Billie is clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Overall, Berthaud gives us a film that wanders. It loses itself at times but, to be fair, the director does get things back on track. This is clearly melodrama bordering on tragedy.
For a third of the film, Kruger’s character bounces from one place to the next and meets a variety of different people. (One of whom ends up dead shortly after talking to Romy in a diner.) The French woman seems to have plenty of money and the luck of the devil.
She is trusting, open and quite naive. In reality, Romy would have wound up being a statistic. She meets Diego in a casino and he thinks she is a hooker. Later she gets kicked out of the place she was staying and she contacts the man in the cowboy hat, Diego. This begins the next two-thirds of the film.
Kruger shines in the movie. We fall in love with her character even as Reedus’s ranger falls for her.
In Sky Norman Reedus comes across as a modern day Robert Mitchum. He is laconic, deep voiced and a man’s man. The Walking Dead star proves that he does not need zombies or a crossbow to play a convincing character.
Sky is a solid 3 star film. The performances are top-notch but the plot rambles. The film is streaming on Netflix at the moment. It is definitely worth a look and Reedus fans will enjoy his performance, but may not like the ending.