All The Light In The Sky (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Adams (Happiness, HBO's "Hung," Little Children, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, among countless others) stars as an actress living in Malibu who faces harsh realities of the industry as her age exempts her from more and more acting opportunities. Amidst this career and life crisis enters the actress's niece, played by Sophia Takal (Green, Gabi on the Roof in July, V/H/S), who arrives for a weekend stay and ushers in a complex prism of emotional insecurities. Can the actress confront her fears, complicated relationships, and figure out how to navigate mid-life in Hollywood? (c) Factory 25
Comedy , Drama
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Critic Reviews for All The Light In The Sky

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (9)

Adams, yet again, commands the screen with authenticity and simplicity, but the film lacks commitment.

Full Review… | December 21, 2013
Top Critic

Where the film excels is in capturing the quiet revelations in Marie's life over the few days it chronicles - revelations that represent the aftermath of choices made years before, when expectations were higher.

Full Review… | December 20, 2013
Top Critic

A minor effort in a filmography largely composed of them, "All the Light in the Sky" is nonetheless satisfying on the terms it establishes early on.

Full Review… | December 19, 2013
Top Critic

Without preaching, "All the Light in the Sky" poses questions that are worth asking, even if we know the answers.

Full Review… | December 19, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Swanberg ... has a knack for catching human behavior at its most unguarded.

Full Review… | December 19, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

No shot looks like it was set up, and, fictional names aside, it's never clear whether actors are speaking in-character or voicing their own opinions.

Full Review… | December 18, 2013
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for All The Light In The Sky

A look at an aging actress and her daily life as she tries finding work in a youth driven world.Boooorrrring and a waste ot my time.

bill secor
bill secor

One can't help but want All the Light in the Sky to be better than it actually turns out to be. This unassuming little indie marks a return to the" mumblecore" conversation pieces of director and co-writer Joe Swanberg, and stars vaunted character actress Jane Adams (also co-writer) in a very rare leading performance. She plays the sort of quirky yet fragile characters that make us want to laugh with and protect her, but haven't led to Adams as any sort of mainstream player other than her hysterical few years on HBO's Hung. Clearly, this is a film dear to her heart as it touches on aging and the superficiality of Hollywood, but this formless, momentum-free indie isn't just a snoozer, it's downright comatose. Marie is essentially a stylized version of Adams; an aging actress in her 40s with a lengthy career that has made her a known commodity, but not necessarily a star. The few roles that were coming her way are now going to Kristen Wiig, but she's content to take gigs on no-budget art house films because they're better than nothing. She lives on the shores of Malibu, jumping out of bed early every morning, changing into her wetsuit (the film opens with some stark nudity) to paddle board. Her life is calming, free of entanglements, and more than a little lonely. It's also free of any excitement, until Marie's niece Faye (Sophia Takal) arrives in town for a few days. Faye is 25-years-old, an aspiring actress, and clearly someone who looks up to her experienced aunt, Marie revels in the chance to impart the wisdom she's learned from years in the business. The film hits its high moments while Marie and Faye are discussing the many hardships faced by actresses in Hollywood. Marie was never famous, but she knows people who are, and the feeling of being left behind still stings her deeply. She reflects on her waning sexual power, and the effect it's had on her not just professionally, but in her personal relationships with men. Now hitting middle age, she's unsure of herself sexually and unwilling to make compromises with her life. She has an older best friend, a sort of Zen paddle boarder, who she keeps finding reasons not to commit to. Marie begins what appears to be a fulfilling relationship with another man, and when it gets too serious drops it like the veggies in her complicated health smoothies. All of this should make for an intriguing character study, especially with a younger aspiring actress tossed into the mix, but the film is remarkably free of any drama. While Swanberg gives the film a naturalistic look and Adams fully embodies a woman still in self-discovery, there's very little that truly digs beneath the surface. Marie has extended conversations with an electrician that go absolutely nowhere, and there's the not-so-subtle comparison to her and the beautiful, picturesque beach homes slowly being worn over the years. Despite the many keen observations All the Light in the Sky makes, ironically it's too superficial to take us anywhere interesting.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson

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