George Clooney’s Film for Netflix Is Bleak, Depressing

The Midnight Sky(Netflix)

Starring George Clooney,  Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone, Demián Bichir, Kyle Chandler, and Caoilinn Springall

Directed by George Clooney

Rating: **

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.

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