It was a time when blond bombshells splashed Life covers and A-bomb tests mushroomed in the desert. The older generation believed in their government, while younger people protested against it. And Blue Sky captures it all... more »! Politically charged and erotically explosive, this highly combustible film features powerful performances by Jessica Lange (Rob Roy) in an Academy AwardÂ(r)-winning* role, and dynamic OscarÂ(r) winner** Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black). Hard-working, mild-tempered Army scientist Hank Marshall (Jones) has his hands full with explosive nuclear reactors and the equally volatile Carly (Lange), his beautifully spirited and emotionally vulnerable wife. While he's conducting tests in Nevada, she succumbs to the advances of his superior officer! But her infidelity is not the only dilemma the Marshalls have to face. When a deadly military cover-up puts Hank in jeopardy, it's up to Carly to muster the courage and strength tosave the man she loves! *1994: Actress **1993: Supporting Actor, The Fugitive« less
"When Jessica Lange won the Best Actress Oscar for this film, few people in the USA had even seen it. For one, its release had been held up for several years and it sat gathering dust in its film cans in the studio. Her Oscar win though finally made many scurry to the theaters to see it. Lange plays a military wife to Tommy Lee Jones' career military man. They have 2 children and have followed him from base to base. What absolutely defines Lange's character though is a combination of constant sensuality with a personality that totters on the edge of breakdown. She is hot for her husband, Jones, but she also acts like a sexual lodestar to other men. Her very presence on a military base can cause incredible unrest among the other husbands and wives. I wish Lange and Jones always had screenplays this good to devote their talents. Often, their talents are wasted on less well written and directed works. If you have overlooked this character-driven masterpiece of acting, don't overlook it any longer."
Tennessee Williams meets Oliver Stone
John Stodder | livin' just enough | 02/08/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is bizarre and out of whack, because it tries to fit a fascinating, Tennessee Williams-style character study into a tired, cliched paranoid conspiracy story. But the movie is worth watching for its first half, when the focus is on the sexy, needy and dysfunctional marriage between the stolid, ambitious military engineer played by Tommy Lee Jones, and his attention-getting, Marilyn Monroe-like wife, played by Jessica Lange.
Both Jones and Lange are excellent. Their characters have many responsibilities: their children, their reputations at the military base, the protection of the Free World. But the actors convince you that they would throw all of that over, temporarily, for each others' hot love. But once you understand that, the filmmakers insert these great characters into a predictable, hackneyed plot that draws on "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Silkwood" and the entirity of Oliver Stone's career.
The hinge for all this is a very unwise sexual encounter between Lange's character and Jones' Evil Boss. The Evil Boss, played by Powers Boothe, is a real Snidely Whiplash. From the first moment you see him, you know he's just a dastardly fellow without a conscience. Boo! Hiss! By having sex with this Bad Man, and then believing another obvious lie he tells her, Lange unwittingly aids in the coverup of a nuclear accident, which she then must go to preposterous lengths to expose in order to save her husband from having his mind stolen from him by the Evil Boss.
Some have wondered why this movie sat on the shelf for several years before being released, given that it won Lange an Academy Award. The answer's obvious; the plot is an embarrassing joke. But we should be glad it got released. Lange's performance is stunning, and Jones' is not far behind her. It's hard work to suspend disbelief through this story's many dumb moments (do you really think a lifelong army brat would pull the pin on a grenade and then casually toss it to her boyfriend?), but it's worth trying to, just to appreciate Jones and Lange's acting."
Sexual Politics, Nuclear Politics-Who Could Ask For More
Gregor von Kallahann | 10/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's not always true, of course, but very often the Academy Awards' "Best Actress" category proves one of the hardest to handicap, and therefore one of the most interesting. The nominees in this category are frequently from "smaller" films, and are ofttimes the best thing about the movie. Sure Jodie Foster's second win was for a commercial and critical blockbuster (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), but her first Oscar for the less heralded THE ACCUSED, which many critics found to be seriously flawed and wasn't exactly a runaway hit at the box office, but damned if she didn't earn that Oscar. She was riveting in that film.
Almost a decade later, Jessica Lange performed a similar achievement and walked off with an Academy Award for a "smallish" film that almost never saw the light of day. BLUE SKY, director Tony Richardson's final film, has powerful performances by Lange and Tommy Lee Jones (as her beleaguered husband) and a solid supporting cast is solid), but it suffers from a somewhat rickety storyline that gets increasingly implausible as the film goes on.
Much of the movie is devoted to Hank and Carly Marshall's complex and largely dysfunctional family life, and those scenes are certainly compelling. The dynamic between Jones' solid, supportive Hank and Lange's vulnerable Carly is somewhat reminiscent of that of Peter Falk and Gena Rowlands in Cassavetes A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE. But BLUE SKY'S mad scene seems a little rushed--heck, it's not even ten minutes into the movie. If Carly's going to break down by that point, we're either in for a lengthy psychodrama, or a sharp divergence in the plot.
Turns out it's the latter. What some have described as the film's nuclear coverup subplot pretty much becomes the main plot by the movie's end, serving to provide Carly a chance to find her own strength and to come to the rescue of her man. Tricked by Hank's villainous commanding officer (the ever sinister Powers Boothe) into having her husband institutionalized, Carly can only redeem herself by taking bold initiative and effecting his escape. It all gets a little preposterous plot-wise, but the strong performances, the sharp depiction of early 60s mores, manners and sexual politics make BLUE SKY well worth seeing. "
Jessica Lange -the greatest actress of the 20th century
John Stodder | 05/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jessica Lange shows us again in Blue Sky why she is the greatest actress of our time. Taking home the Oscar for Best Actress for this film was long overdue. Her star turn in Frances was also oscar worthy but she was overlooked by the overrated Meryl Streep for Sophies Choice. Blue Sky is a must see for fans of truly great acting."
The Blue Baron | Los Angeles | 08/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My favorite Jessica Lange movie. She is so...sexy in this film. I personally love high-strung females like this, they are so much fun to be around! Anyway, I love everything about this film and kinda knew this was gonna be true when the film opened with one of favorite songs by Dinah Washington & Brook Benton (You've Got What It Takes). Anyone who wants to watch a well made great movie should check this out!"