Thursday, 10 August 2017

Planetarium (2016)


Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance


Rebecca Zlotowski


France, Belgium


Natalie Portman, Lily-Rose Depp, Louis Garrel, Emmanuel Salinger, Amira Casar, Pierre Salvadori, Rosa Bursztein


The journey of two sisters, Laura (Natalie Portman) and Kate (Lily-Rose Depp), who have the supernatural ability to connect with ghosts cross paths with a visionary French producer (Emmanuel Salinger) who wants to revive the fortune of his film company by trying to capture a ghost with a camera. 


I've been given the chance to see a preview screening of Planetarium and, although I'm not a supernatural films freak, I just couldn't say no to a film starring one of my favourite actresses, Natalie Portman. That said, this is not the film that is going to change my mind about the supernatural genre because, while it has some beauty, Planetarium isn't that solid.

The execution is the one to be blamed for it. The writers clearly had some good ideas, and the story had the potential to show cinema and its role in a manner we have never seen before. And it kind of does that. The problem is that is done in an incredibly contrived and confusing way. There are some good ideas but nothing to connect them so the story fails to be compelling and engaging.

After a very promising beginning, the film loses its way and so does the young Rebecca Zlotowski who tries to explore mind and universe both of the two sisters and of the movie producer without succeeding. She also fails at providing the film with the adequate atmosphere and at transporting us into a boundless universe where everything is possible.

But if on the one hand we have some sloppy writing and direction, on the other hand we have a beautiful cinematography, artsy and interesting shots, beautiful musical score and a great performance from Natalie Portman who manages to capture all the ambiguities of the character. Unfortunately, her strong and emotional performance isn't enough to carry the film.


  1. I'm sorry this wasn't better. I hate when my favorite actors are in movies I end up not loving.

    1. It's okay. I'm kinda used to disappointments with Natalie Portman. And Kevin Spacey too.

  2. L'ho visto due volte questo film: la prima alla Mostra di Venezia (e - lo ammetto - solo per vedere dal vivo la meravigliosa Natalie, ospite in sala) la seconda in streaming qualche settimana fa... e, devo essere sincero, in entrambi i casi non ho capito assolutamente dove vuole andare a parare: hai ragione, la storia è inutilmente confusa e nell'ultima mezz'ora diventa un polpettone storico-filosofico decisamente indigesto. Peccato, perchè con una sceneggiatura migliore c'erano tutti i crismi per tirarne fuore un prodotto affascinante

    1. Esatto! L'unica consolazione è che i distributori americani mi hanno dato accesso ad uno screening privato per recensire il film e quindi non ho speso neanche un centesimo.