In Fabienne Berthaud’s “Sky,” a woman’s search for independence leads her on a journey through the American West. The film is the third collaboration between French director Berthaud and actress Diane Kruger.
“Sky” starts in an appealingly film noir fashion: an unhappy marriage, a woman on the run, the vast desert road and a vintage car. It has a sort of charming late-night cable aesthetic: all flashing police lights and dusty sun-baked outposts. Liberated from love, Romy (Kruger) is a newly refreshed woman, up for anything and open to adventure — for a time.
She has a dalliance with the wacky lifestyle of Las Vegas, but she lasts only a few days before seeking domesticity with a one-night stand. It seems as though she’s running from one marriage to the next, but she can’t quite find the right mate.
The film grabs you, thanks in large part to the charisma of Kruger, who easily inhabits the many different iterations of her character. She goes from withdrawn Romy to being the wild Rabbit, hawking photo ops in a Playboy bunny get-up in Vegas, to the grounded Sky, as she is christened in a Native American ceremony. Though the first half of the film is far more interesting than the overwrought melodrama that it becomes, “Sky” remains a deeply compelling and optimistic valentine to the possibilities of the West.
In English and French with English subtitles
Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills