The Sky is Everywhere is an Apple TV+ Original movie about life, love, music, and grief. Director Josephine Decker successfully conveyed the artistic nature of the 2010 novel of the same name by Jandy Nelson by adding elements of fantasy in music, dance, and imagination.
According to Decker, this movie was shot in the fall of 2020 when there were wild fires and the obvious worries about the COVID pandemic. “Everyone was living with the fear of losing a loved one. So to go into this shoot, which was about losing a loved one, made it that much more potent and meant that we all took it very seriously. A project that’s about such a tender and painful processing of grief felt really alive and fresh for all of us.”
The music in this movie takes on a big role by reflecting the feelings and imagination of the main character Lennie, played by Grace Kaufman. In dealing with the death of her older sister, Bailey, we see the music follow Lennie’s fluctuating emotions in experiencing love, connection, and loss. Compelling visuals put Lennie’s creative imagination on full display. Characters floating through the air, moving music notes, and live flowers strongly create this artistic element that is appreciated by both the audience and the actors.
Kaufman emphasizes the importance of art and expression in the film. “What’s so beautiful about art, and with this film, is that it is totally up for interpretation and I think that is really great.”
Kaufman also talked about what attracted her to this project. “What drew me to this story is that it’s a coming of age story about a young woman, and I really hope that other young women see bits and pieces of themselves in Lennie, and that it helps them not feel so alone when it comes to grief and loss.”
The audience can find comfort in the characters as being people they can relate to. Decker did an excellent job in casting the three main roles which include Joe, played by Jacques Colimon and Toby, portrayed by Pico Alexander. Colimon specifically gives kudos to Decker for giving him the chance to let his “black boy joy” shine on screen. The curly-haired actor who has the word “Believe” tattooed on the back of his neck, talked about the role “signs” played in the movie and in his real life.
“I absolutely believe in signs. I think the world works in mysterious ways,” said Colimon. “…So much of the movie is about signs. There are always things that are communicating to us, whether it’s symbolic or otherwise, but we gotta to pay attention. I gotta make all my art based on the signs I see in the world.”
Overall, The Sky is Everywhere presented the audience with a challenge to look at aspects of their own life and how they see the world. The artistic nature of the film gives room for interpretation and feeling from viewers. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and the enriching behind-the-scenes conversations with both the actors and directors.
The Sky is Everywhere is now streaming on Apple TV+.
By Asata Young, Senior, Kenwood Academy