Uf – 2020 soon creaked without a prestigious astronaut film. Thanks to George Clooney for meeting the quota for overalls / spacesuit-zero-G-danger Midnight sky, Netflix’s Oscar-based lure based on the novel Good morning, midnight Lily Brooks-Dalton. Cloonster is acting and directing, hoping to correct the little-listed ship of his filmography behind the camera, which has been rather uneven in recent years, tainted by his latest efforts, the sloppy 2017 satire. Suburbicon. I guess such a comment won’t bring me a place in his million-dollar Friends of Friends Club, so rest assured, I’ll be honest with this assessment of his new sci-fi drama here.
Essence: 2049 is, “three weeks after the event,” reads a secret subtitle. The atmosphere is poisoned by radiation, killing God knows how many people, but it has not yet reached the Barbeau Observatory in the Arctic. Civilians jump on massive helicopters to take them to the bunker, but scientist Augustine Lofthouse (Clooney) stays behind. He is terminally ill, so why bother? He throws in some whiskey, does a daily transfusion, vomits one or the other or both, and has a hollow look in his eyes that tells us he’s waiting to die. But before that can happen, he must contact Ether, the ship that crossed the solar system to K-23, a newly discovered moon orbiting Jupiter, to determine if it can support human life. Augustine should tell them not to return home, because the planet is kaputskies. By the way, he discovered K-23. He also discovers something in the kitchen of the observatory: the girl Iris (Caoilinn Springall), left behind, is hiding under the bar. He can’t, or just won’t, talk.
Meanwhile, in space, five astronauts are crushing like squirrels on a walnut farm. K-23 is absolutely habitable even if Sully (Felicity Jones) disturbs a dream in which ETBehind it is to be believed, it is a beautiful place with a beautiful orange sky, airy air and fields of golden wheat. She is pregnant and her father is the commander of Adewole (David Oyelowo). With them are Maya (Tiffany Boone), Sanchez (Demian Bechir) and Mitchell (Kyle Chandler). The mood is a bit muffled by the lack of communication from Earth. It’s been weeks. It’s a scratch to the head. They are not aware, at least for now, blissfully; refer to the sad cello. Suddenly they are pushed off course and have to take a different path through an uncharted zone, and in this way the plot can introduce some space danger where they would not otherwise exist.
Return to the Arctic. The antenna on the Barbeau is not strong enough to reach the Ether, so it may be time for a strenuous journey to cross the tundra to a meteorological station with better equipment. In addition, the radiation is moving faster than expected, killing wildlife outside. Augustine packs Iris, treatment equipment, and the necessary supplies on a snowmobile, packs himself and the girl — with the necessary oxygen masks — to travel through the raging blizzards that could make White Fang pale. In the meantime, we have some feedback on Augustine’s life decades ago, when the One who walked away escaped, something that could contribute to his end-of-life melancholy or perhaps relevant to the plot. Will they be able to contact the astronauts and sharpen their vibrations with news of Armageddon? Hell to my feet, nao spoilers, no naov no.
Which movies will remind you of: Midnight sky is a conglomeration of two genres that have largely peaked in recent years: a gloomy post-apocalyptic thriller and a space travel thriller. It looks like Ad Astra,, Gravity,, The day after tomorrow,, Passengers,, Blade Runner 2049,, Put and – lemmas rummage here. Aha! – Quiet Earth. And the recent saga of the final days Greenland, despite the lack of an award, may actually be a better film.
Worth to see performance: Clooney is great, of course, playing a haunted, dying man with a big Santa beard, weak and salty WALL-E-a man moves until he stops, one way or another. Fortunately, he is not obsessed with any fake scenes in a conversation with himself like Matt Damon in Martian, which could actually be a better film.
Memory dialog: “I’m afraid we didn’t take very good care of that place while you were away.” – Augustine Sully gently smashes that the ground goose is cooked
Sex and skin: None.
Our approach: Midnight sky it neatly reverses the usual dynamics of action by placing hell on Earth and creating an empty void of space as a relatively comfortable safe place. Clooney staged tense and effective sequences of high strings in every setting, one a man-to-nature confrontation between Augustine and a little thin ice, another an inevitable spacewalk threatened by inevitable unexpected space debris that led to inevitable battles with space carabiners. He also indulges in a few visual poetic moments and underlines the whole venture with subtle tones of tragedy and hope, probably turning a little more towards the first.
Visually, the film reaches a climax A space odyssey a miracle from Ether, which is not the fragile, greasy claustrophobia-craft of other films, but a place where aliens can rock and nurture their mental health. They may feel more at home thanks to the 3D holograms of their friends and family, which seems like a way to make the experience of absence even more soulful for the umpteenth time, but maybe it’s just me. I guess this is just a way of saying the movie looks right, convincingly expensive.
All of these are pretty nice things – certainly thematically executed, but accomplished from a visual and technical standpoint. Writing is what is failing miserably. The script puts its feelings on its nose a bit; a bad result seems to fight the gloom of the story; the non-Clooney characters are thin, and the little girl Iris is like a porcelain doll, just an insensitive thing to protect. This is not unforgivable, given that Clooney has the director’s ability to inspire an excellent performance by Clooney, the actor, attracting our focus. It has a substance. But the end is baaaaaad, which may deserve more than just six “a’s”. Baaaaaaaaaaad. The final section is a jumbled pile of fiction, where the characters enjoy finite moments that aren’t earned remotely; where nonsense prevails pragmatism; where those half-flashed flashbacks finally come into terrible focus; where the revelations should be deep but sifted out of the trash can of narrative clichés. The final blow is great, however, as it is worth.
Our call: JUMPS. (Take a deep breath) Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. Mixed feelings, because Midnight sky is until then a fine, twisting film, reasonably thoughtful, pleasing to Clooney fans, a solid watch for fans of the genre. But this is a classic ending case that directly armageddonized the rest of the film. What a disappointment.
John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more about his work at johnserbaatlarge.com or follow him on Twitter: @johnserba.
Stream Midnight sky on Netflix