THE MIDNIGHT SKY (12)
D: George Clooney
Netflix / Smokehouse / Anonymous Content (Grant Heslov, George Clooney, Keith Redmon, Bard Dorros & Cliff Roberts)
US 🇺🇸 2020
W: Mark L. Smith [based on the novel “Good Morning, Midnight” by Lily Brooks-Dalton]
DP: Martin Ruhe
Ed: Stephen Mirrione
Mus: Alexandre Desplat
PD: Jim Bissell
George Clooney (Augustine Lofthouse), Felicity Jones (Dr. Iris Sullivan), David Oyelowo (Cmmdr. Adewole), Kyle Chandler (Mitchell), Demian Bichir (Sanchez), Tiffany Boone (Maya)
George Clooney directs and stars in this science fiction adventure, adapted from the novel ‘Good Morning, Midnight’ by Lily Brooks-Dalton.
Clooney plays Augustine Lofthouse, the last scientist remaining at a remote arctic station following an unspecified global event that has left the rest of the planet uninhabitable.
He tries desperately to contact a returning interplanetary spaceship that has been searching the galaxy for other habitable planets to warn them of the Earth’s demise. He discovers a young girl has been left behind and ventures across the arctic wasteland to another station so he can continue his attempt with radio contact.
Meanwhile, the crew of the returning vessel also face their own problems with space debris causing damage and communications with Earth non-existent.
Technically, the film is incredibly well done, with impressive sets, visual effects and model work, but the pacing is glacially slow and the two contrasting stories do feel completely unconnected until the final moments, which feels like you’re watching two completely different movies until the final act, and the moments of peril for both are few and far between.
There is a twist in the tale that I honestly never saw coming, and I would like to read the original source material to judge whether or not that this is a good adaptation.
The visual effects are certainly the standout, and the set design is also very good, although it does look a little too clean, and I personally would have felt it could have added a more perilous atmosphere had they appeared more “lived in”.
The film was bizarrely released direct to streaming service Netflix, where it probably could have benefited with a big screen release so the scale could have been better appreciated.