The Sky is Everywhere is a colorful exploration of heavy themes like love, loss and grief. Read more in our review of the upcoming Apple TV+ original below:
Apple’s streaming service has had quite a few hits in their library. Ted Lasso and The Morning Show have been big players at the Emmys and other award ceremonies, as well as with audiences. The streamer pumps out a handful of quality series, with big names attached, every month. But their library is lacking a bit of that polish in the film category.
They will likely have a successful awards player, with the acclaimed Sundance drama Coda. But there really aren’t a lot of films on the service. The films they do have, have been mostly quality content, also mostly always starring big names. Now, Apple is about to add a new one: The Sky is Everywhere, an independent drama produced by A24, starring a bunch of newcomers and How I Met Your Mother‘s Jason Segel, in a supporting turn.
The newest Apple TV+ Original is an adaptation of an acclaimed book by Jandy Nelson, who also wrote the film’s screenplay. It follows Lennie (Grace Kaufman), a music-loving teenie, who has to deal with the sudden passing of her beloved sister (Havanna Rose Liu). When her crush, the charismatic Joe Fontaine (Jacques Colimon) shows up, things don’t get easier, as Lennie found companionship in her sister’s boyfriend Toby (Pico Alexander).
Apple Adds Another Quality Film with The Sky is Everywhere
The Sky is Everywhere is a teenage drama done by A24. That means the film has a lot to offer from a visual standpoint alone. Josephine Decker’s (Shirley, Madeline’s Madeline) newest directorial effort oozes from bright, warm and vibrant colors. Decker really put a lot of focus on the colorization and the staging, as this is the highlight and selling point of the film: the staging. Sometimes it is just the little moments, like how the camera captures Lennie walking around.
Sometimes it’s big moments like the dream-like sequence where Lennie and Joe lay on the ground and people in costumes full of roses dance around them. Or maybe it’s an animated rainy cloud floating over Gram (Cherry Jones) as she is crying in the garden. The staging and creativity of The Sky is Everywhere is nothing short of spectacular. This creativity is accompanied by popping colors, so bright and warm, it almost feels and looks like you are watching a fairy tale come to life.
When talking about this film, it’s impossible not to mention the moving breakout performance by Grace Kaufman. The film kind of stands and falls with her performance and she delivered. And it’s not an easy job, as Lennie is a layered character, that goes through many different emotional states. She has quite a few scenes, where she might end up being unlikeable for the audience, but Kaufman ensures the audience never stops caring about her. Even when she makes some questionable decisions.
She is joined by a handful of young actors, including Havanna Rose Liu, whose anticipated film, No Exit, will soon release on Hulu. They all deliver fairly solid performances but never get the depth or screen time as Lennie, which is why they always stay a bit in the background, which you could also say about Jason Segel and Cherry Jones, as both are criminally underused. While the latter does get a scene to shine, Segel got nothing to do at all.
That comes back to the worst part of the film: the screenplay. The screenplay was written by the author of the book, Jandy Nelson, who is not a screenwriter. This is the author’s first screenplay and you feel that. There is a lot of narration, done by Lennie, to convey her feelings and mindset. But Kaufman does a great job of showing that through her performance. So it feels a bit unnecessary and just highlights Nelson’s background in novels. The screenplay also completely ignores its supporting characters. In a film all about dealing with grief and loss, we only really see Lennie deal with that and Gram.
Toby and Segel’s character Big, only get to grieve from afar. There isn’t a lot of characterization and they are just there to support Lennie, even though the film always wants to tell you otherwise. Toby (Pico Alexander) is a repetitive story device, rather than an actual character, and Segel is essentially a cameo, rather than an actual supporting character. Going back to Toby being a story device, he regularly reveals more and more about his deceased girlfriend, Bailey, to her sister, which is the driving force of the story. The revelations work the first time as they increase the impact of her passing, but it becomes obvious that the film has nothing to tell outside of Kaufman’s character.
The Sky is Everywhere convinces with beautiful visuals, a dynamic camera and a lot of creativity. Grace Kaufman delivers a fantastic breakthrough performance and will soon become the next star. While the messy screenplay definitely holds the film back, it mostly leaves those pages in its shadow, making The Sky is Everywhere a film worth watching.
The Sky is Everywhere hits Apple TV+ on February 11, 2022.
About The Sky is Everywhere
Tucked among the magical redwood trees of Northern California and surrounded by her grandmother’s gargantuan roses, 17-year-old Lennie Walker, a radiant musical prodigy, struggles with overwhelming grief following the sudden loss of her older sister, Bailey. When Joe Fontaine, the charismatic new guy at school, enters Lennie’s life, she’s drawn to him. But Lennie’s complicated relationship with her sister’s devastated boyfriend, Toby, starts to affect Lennie and Joe’s budding love. Through her vivid imagination and honest, conflicted heart, Lennie navigates first love and first loss to create a song of her own. (Apple TV+)
The film is based on the novel by Jandy Nelson and directed by Josephine Decker. It stars: Grace Kaufman, Jacques Coliman, Pico Alexander, Havana Rose Liu, Cherry Jones and Jason Segel.
What do you guys think? Are you planning to watch it? Are you familiar with the novel? Let’s discuss everything in the comments down below and on our Social Media.