The Midnight Sky(Netflix)
Starring George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone, Demián Bichir, Kyle Chandler, and Caoilinn Springall
Directed by George Clooney
George Clooney is one of the most important voices of Hollywood.What he does has a huge impact on the globe specially the moviegoing part of the globe. As an actor he has scored resounding success repeatedly. As director Clooney has a chequered career with one film Good Night, And Good Luck making a universally positive impact.All his other directorials have left us with mixed feelings.
Midnight Sky is no exception. It is ambitious in scale and it secretes a very important subtext on global survival to tent-pole the project to something more important than entertainment. Sadly there IS no entertainment here. Watching Clooney as Augustine, a scientist dying all alone on a plundered earth, hobble around with a 8-year old girl through the merciless snow is just about the best metaphor for the plodding plot.There are flashbacks featuring Ethan Peck(grandson of the legendary Gregory Peck) as a younger avatar of George Clooney where blessedly the atmosphere is warmer. Peck and Clooney look nothing like one another. Maybe time has not been kind to Augustine.It has certainly not been kind to us. Watching a film as dark and sullen as this doesn’t help ease the burden.
The Midnight Sky opens with a cheap plot-shot where we see a mother frantically looking for her little girl as the survivors of a human holocaust(yes,another one of those,go ahead roll your eyes) are heading out of earth on a spaceship. The lost-girl trick is significant in the light of the fact that scientist Clooney finds a little girl hiding in his place of shelter.
On another planet far far away , a spaceship cruises the sky in search of safe landing The spaceship survives.Wish we could say the same about this joyless frosty film where there is seldom a reason to smile except for the little girl Iris played with wonderful gravitas by littleCaoilinn Springall who wordlessly steals every scene from Clooney.
Up in the sky the team of astronauts hurling down to earth are a motley crew,with Felicity Jones and other interesting actors, trying hard to look like a homogenized community far away from earth. Jones has a connect with Clooney and it takes exactly 3 minutes to figure out the film’s BIG SECRET.
The Midnight Sky may of interest to those who enjoyed the Lost In Space series. For us earthlings the thought of devastation is unbearable. Spare us these sophisticated reminders of how close we are to catastrophe. We know it.