George Clooney both stars in and directs ‘The Midnight Sky,’ a visually stunning science-fiction centric narrative which details a scientist’s quest to save the members of a space station from returning to the apocalyptic ice-scape that Earth has become. It’s easily the biggest and grandest looking Netflix project to date. Clooney directs the hell out of the film churning out one of his best projects ever. There were certainly moments in the film which brought me pause. It seemed that for every meticulous detail that the film covered both technically and visually, ‘The Midnight Sky’ seemingly made character development not a priority. The one rare exception was, in this instance, Clooney’s character, Dr. Augustine Lofthouse. Perhaps some of this was lost in how Mark L. Smith adapted Lily Brooks-Dalton’s novel, ‘Good Morning Midnight.’ There’s definitely some rich material to mine from and a great cast to execute said material.
The film also stars Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, and Kyle Chandler, each of which is relegated to being bit players in this ice odyssey. Perhaps it’s because this is Augustine’s story? While Dr. Lofthouse has spent most of his life studying ways to help save humanity from the forthcoming climate crisis, he’s allowed himself to suffer. Even in his twilight ( as it appears he’s very sick), Clooney’s character puts others ahead of his own welchooses to let others go on the transport and subject himself to an icy doom. His quest to reach the space station returning to earth is his last attempt at saving humanity from extinction, even though they are the ones who brought this on themselves.
What stood out was certainly the fantastic work of cinematographer Martin Ruhe and Alexandre Desplat’s score, one of the best of 2020. While The Midnight Sky, at times, felt cold, overall, the film is certainly solid, and a credit to the craftmanship Clooney brings to all of his directorial projects.