Available on Apple TV+, the film Sky is Everywhere features a young woman trying to mourn her sister. Adapted from the novel of the same name, it talks about reconstruction.
What is it about ?
A student tries to recover from the sudden death of her sister. She then gets closer to two men: her sister’s boyfriend and a newcomer who offers her hope for the future.
Heaven Is Everywhere is a romantic drama directed by Josephine Decker, written by Jandy Nelson – the author of the novel of the same name. Meeting with the director and the actors, Grace Kaufman (Lennie), Pico Alexander (Toby Shaw) and Jacques Colimon (Joe Fontaine).
AlloCiné: What attracted you to the adaptation of this book?
Josephine Decker: Jandy Nelson has written a book that is important to me on death but also on life, on the loss of a loved one. It is this humanity contained in Jandy’s work that moved me and that I wanted to stage. I have a sister and the thought of losing her is what terrifies me the most in my life. It is also a very beautiful look at adolescence, first love, all the beauty that life offers.
In this film, life and death are one. Bailey may have disappeared, but she is truly present alongside her sister Lennie. It is a strong and very spiritual film. I’m always drawn to projects like this that have a real soul in addition to a strong story. I also like projects that deal with the world here and beyond. I find this fascinating and mysterious.
Pico Alexander: What attracted me is the authenticity of what is written in this film. Life is tough and this movie is totally honest with that reality. This film shows that in life we sometimes face tragic moments that take away your desire to live. How do you rebuild yourself when you lose the only person you really love?
Jacques Colimon: It was this honesty that also attracted me to play the role of Joe. He knows how to face life’s challenges but he also knows how to keep smiling and keep laughing beyond crying. He always finds a ray of light in the most difficult moments and that’s what I found great with this character. Even if it’s a slightly romantic vision of what young people can go through, the tone remains authentic and rooted in reality. It gives hope, especially in these uncertain times.
Grace Kaufman: I found that this role suited me completely. Lennie is going through what I went through, to some degree, in my own life. It’s not easy being a young girl on the road to adulthood. It’s a realistic and honest film, as my comrades said.
Tell us about the visual choices that are surprising.
Josephine Decker: Yes, there are several magic and animated sequences. We wanted to make maximum use of mechanical special effects while mixing them with digital special effects. These moments were very well described in the book and therefore it helped me in my approach. For example, I used a mechanical effect when the house collapses around Lennie. In the book, it was a pure animation sequence. But I found that seeing Lennie thwart the disaster that befalls her was much more gripping and scary.
In the end, what do you hope for the impact, the message of this film?
Josephine Decker: It really is a film full of love and I hope that the public will feel all the love that I wanted to give and that Jendy Nelson, the author, wanted to communicate. I really believe that one feels taken by the influence of love while watching my film.
Jacques Colimon: I hope that the public will like our film and that young people will see themselves in our characters. In this life, I hope to one day see the community of the world working together, living together, beyond our differences. It’s a bit of a metaphor for this film.
Pico Alexander: I hope this film gives hope, energy, motivation to find your own idea of happiness, of paradise. In life we must always go after our dreams, with passion, with courage and hard work.
Grace Kaufman: I hope that by watching this film some young people will feel less alone. Especially when dealing with the loss of a loved one. Everyone always finds themselves in the same situation of despair and loneliness. The film also shows that everyone is different and that there is no miracle recipe for overcoming one’s pain.
It’s a film full of hope which shows that we all share the same harshness of life and that we must remain united with each other. Life is sometimes tragic but it is also so beautiful. I can’t wait to see what the future holds after this pandemic.