THE MIDNIGHT SKY – A Review by Cynthia Flores

THE MIDNIGHT SKY – A Review by Cynthia Flores

If you ever doubted if God can give with both hands, then just take a look at George Clooney, and you’ll see the proof of it. Mr. Clooney is talented, good looking, and by all reports a good guy. He is also a Producer/Director and co-founded with fellow producer Grant Heslov Smokehouse Pictures, an Academy Award-winning production company. This new film, The Midnight Sky, is the first film from this team to debut on Netflix. I’m guessing that since the great filmmaker Scorsese did a hit debut film for Netflix last year. That it will become commonplace to see well-known filmmakers work with Netflix.

The Midnight Sky is an end of the world story told in both an epic scope and intimate style. Instead of showing scenes of massive chaos on the planet, we watch maps on LCD screens that show radiation spreading everywhere. This version of humanity’s end on planet Earth takes place in 2049, a not too distant future. We see two intertwined stories dealing with the fallout three weeks after “The Event.”

On Earth, we have a lonely scientist Augustine (George Clooney), living out his final days in a snowy Arctic outpost. He thought he was alone until a young girl named Iris (Caoilinn Springall) was discovered in the facility. Apparently, she was left behind when everyone shipped out and went to die with their families back home.

In outer space, we have a team of interplanetary explorers. Led by Captain Adewole (Davie Oyelowo). He and his communications officer Sully (Felicity Jones) are expecting their first child. The rest of the team, Mitchell (Kyle Chandler), Sanchez (Demián Bichir), and Maya (Tiffany Boone), are tired and looking forward to going home. They’re on an advanced spacecraft that has been away for two years, confirming that a new moon of Jupiter’s can indeed support life. It may be a second chance for the human race. These astronauts, trapped in their own isolation, are not aware of what’s happened to the Earth. With Iris in tow, Augustine must risk it all to make it to a radio tower powerful enough to reach the crew. He must stop the astronauts from returning home to this mysterious global catastrophe.

Clooney does a commendable job adapting the 2016 book Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. It’s not easy to adapt such an acclaimed book about a tribute to the human spirit of survival in the worst circumstances. Unfortunately, there are a few confusing moments in the film that take you out of the story for a bit in their need to be cryptic. But mostly, the film is a tense, nail-biting ride. My favorite scene is in the arctic, where Augustine and Iris are walking in a blinding snowstorm as wolves stalk them. It’s a brilliant bit of filmmaking and acting on Mr. Clooney’s part.

The Midnight Sky is beautifully shot and acted. The sound effects make you feel like you’re on the spaceship with the crew as they work to make it home.

I give The Midnight Sky a 4-star rating. So turn the sound up on your surround system and enjoy the end of the world on Netflix this Christmas.

Directed by: George Clooney

Written by: Mark L. Smith

Rated: PG-13

Selig Rating: 4 Stars

Running Time: 125 min

Drama / Sci-Fi

Limited Release: In Select theaters and on Netflix December 23rd

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

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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