Tucked among the magical redwood trees of Northern California and surrounded by her grandmother’s gargantuan roses, 17-year-old Lennie Walker, a radiant musical prodigy, struggles with overwhelming grief following the sudden loss of her older sister, Bailey. When Joe Fontaine, the charismatic new guy at school, enters Lennie’s life, she’s drawn to him. But Lennie’s complicated relationship with her sister’s devastated boyfriend, Toby, starts to affect Lennie and Joe’s budding love. Through her vivid imagination and honest, conflicted heart, Lennie navigates first love and first loss to create a song of her own. Acclaimed filmmaker Josephine Decker directs this moving adaptation of the beloved novel of the same name. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Samantha B. comments, “The colorful and beautifully-acted film The Sky Is Everywhere by director Josephine Decker and writer Jandy Nelson blends magic and romance in a perfect story just in time for Valentine’s Day. The film’s setting in the redwood forests of Northern California creates the perfect backdrop for scenes that include magical realism.” See her full review below.
The Sky Is Everywhere
By Samantha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
The colorful and beautifully-acted film The Sky Is Everywhere by director Josephine Decker and writer Jandy Nelson blends magic and romance in a perfect story just in time for Valentine’s Day. The film’s setting in the redwood forests of Northern California creates the perfect backdrop for scenes that include magical realism. In addition, Grace Kaufman, Jacques Colimon and Pico Alexander all act their hearts out in this dramatic story about moving through grief and loss.
The Sky Is Everywhere tells the story of a high school senior named Lennie (Grace Kaufman) who suffers the sudden loss of her older sister, and, in her grief, also loses the ability to play her clarinet. She bonds with her sister’s devastated boyfriend Toby (Pico Alexander), and yet is also intrigued by a new boy in her advanced band class named Joe (Jacques Colimon). We watch Lennie navigate her feelings about both boys while also processing her sister’s death.
Grace Kaufman does not hold back in her portrayal of Lennie, showing how she moves in and out of different stages of grief. Her acting feels natural as does her chemistry with both of her male co-stars. Pico Alexander gives a sympathetic performance as Toby who is distraught and confused. Jacques Colimon’s Joe comes off as playful and flirtatious. You really feel the chemistry between Lennie and Joe. One of the best parts of The Sky Is Everywhere is how magical realism is used to bring Lennie’s emotions to life. People break out in dance, musical notes float across the screen and Lennie’s grandmother’s rose garden comes alive, which is also my favorite scene in the film.
The main message of The Sky Is Everywhere is the importance of letting yourself experience grief after a big loss. In the film, you see Lennie clinging to her sister’s belongings, breaking out in tears and getting angry at her grandmother. She has to experience the full range of emotions before she can move forward with her life. There is some light sexual content and a stereotypical “mean girl” who competes with Lennie for first chair in clarinet.
I give The Sky Is Everywhere 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The Sky Is Everywhere opens in select theaters and on Apple TV+, Friday, February 11, 2022.
Keywords: Grace Kaufman, Pico Alexander, Jacques Colimon, Cherry Jones, Jason Segel