Jorge Michel Grau’s Big Sky masquerades as a psychological thriller, but underneath it’s a meditation on the worthlessness of men.
Over 95 minutes, Hazel (Bella Thorne) suffers through men abandoning her, shooting her mother, Dee (Kyra Sedgwick), pursuing her through the New Mexico desert, and threatening her when she asks for help. Hazel, a girl so agoraphobic she hasn’t left her home in months, perseveres. After the van taking her to a clinic is attacked by gunmen, she navigates herself the six miles to the nearest town using the sun, and takes her medicine on time and in accordance with her obsessive ritual, even sketching a pillbox in the dirt.
Big Sky‘s stoic women do very little talking — Thorne mumbles most of her lines through thick bangs, like a strawberry-blonde Kristen Stewart — and endure a lot of pain: Sedgwick applies cocaine to her wound as “a topical anesthetic”; Thorne pulls hunks of her shredded sweatshirt from a long scrape.
Meanwhile, the male characters yap about their hopes and dreams and mental instability and how if a woman would just for once consider their male feelings they wouldn’t be obliged to hunt her down and accidentally Mace themselves when aiming for her. What these crybabies fail to realize is that the women don’t have time to account for how trying not to be killed will hurt their antagonists’ pride — they’re too busy surviving.
Directed by Jorge Michel Grau
Opens August 14, Cinema Village
Available on demand
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 11, 2015