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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

There's a troubling lack of diapers in Lucy in the Sky and people aren't pleased

Illustration for article titled There's a troubling lack of diapers in Lucy in the Sky and people aren't pleased
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Note: Potential spoilers for Lucy in the Sky ahead.

Movies that are about real life events can be tricky: Many can become over-dramatized or simply create way more interesting scenarios than the ones that actualy took place. But for Lucy in the Sky, a new movie starring Natalie Portman as an astronaut adjusting to civilian life after going to space, one of the most memorable details was left out and some movie-goers are (understandably) pretty upset about it. The movie had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11 and Portman’s character did not—we repeat, did not—wear any diapers.

Portman’s character and story is “loosely” based on that of Captain Lisa Marie Nowak’s, a former NASA astronaut who was charged with attempted murder in 2007. She allegedly tried to kidnap Colleen Shipman, an Air Force captain, who started a romantic relationship with Commander Bill Oefelein, a fellow astronaut with whom Nowak also had an affair. Where do the diapers come in? Well in order to carry out her scheme, Nowak drove 950 miles with “a buck knife, latex gloves, a BB gun, pepper spray” in tow, and wore “government-issued diapers” so she wouldn’t have to stop in her pursuit of Shipman, according to The Los Angeles Times. Apparently, Portman’s movie completely skips over that hilariously important detail, which takes the weirdness of the story down a considerable notch—a consequence that our own A.A. Dowd was quick to point out.


Critics are very much in the, “Give me diapers or give me death!” category of disappointment with this development. It seems that in getting rid of this detail, and maybe others, the weird story isn’t as weird and outrageous as it actually is. And the “backlash” from critics and those that know the story are coming in hot.


Noah Hawley, who directed the movie, told The Los Angeles Times that because it was roughly based on Nowak’s story and “not a documentary,” it was a detail that “just didn’t fit into the story.” Well, as more reviews pour in ahead of the film’s October release, it’ll be interesting to see if that detail was actually worth cutting.

Alani Vargas is an entertainment writer and A.V. Club contributor. Her work also appears on Showbiz Cheat Sheet, INSIDER, Bustle, Refinery29, and Elite Daily.

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