George Clooney is the kind of guy who appeals to almost everyone — men, women, young, old and everyone in between. With his latest work, a tender sci-fi thriller called The Midnight Sky, he proves that his talents, as well as his charms, are also widespread. He produced, directed and starred in the Netflix film that has the potential to touch the population of planet earth.
A grizzled Clooney plays the esteemed scientist Augustine Lofthouse, stationed at a lab in the Arctic. Lofthouse refuses to evacuate with the rest of his colleagues when a cataclysmic event wipes out most of the Earth’s population—he’s suffering from a fatal illness that requires transfusions, and he believes he only has a short time to live anyway.
As he attempts to contact spacecrafts returning to earth and warn them to turn back, he discovers he is not alone in his lab. He also discovers he can make contact with only one crew, and their experiences become part of the story.
To reveal any more about the plot would verge on spoiling compelling surprises, but I can tell you why Clooney’s The Midnight Sky impressed me so, and why it might just move you to tears.
5 Reasons Why George Clooney’s ‘The Midnight Sky’ is One of the Best Movies of the Year
- It’s stunningly beautiful. Although it’s available on Netflix, see it on as large a screen with the highest definition possible. Martin Ruhe’s stellar cinematography is thoughtful, original and rapturous.
- The supporting cast is beyond. Among the crew members are Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, On the Basis of Sex), David Oyelowo (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time) and Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Bloodline). Also, young Caoilinn Springall is mesmerizing.
- It’s a fresh take on life in space. The look, feel and sound of spacecraft interiors have just about been done to death with so many genre movies and TV series, but these are intriguing and even artistic. Kudos to everyone on the production design team.
- The score is superb. Alexandre Desplat, the composer who has scored dozens of films and won Oscars for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Shape of Water, has composed a moving score that provides suspense, emotion, whimsy and more, without being too heavy handed or giving away too much.
- The plot and pacing are riveting. Based on the 2016 novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton, Clooney’s pace has been criticized as a bit of a plod, but I found it devoid of gratuitous lingering, I thought the transitions were brisk, the suspense was almost continuous, and there was just enough time left for emotions to set in.
And be forewarned, Clooney’s The Midnight Sky will launch emotions, from awe, to angst to sorrow to humor to regret and just about everything in between.
1 Hour 58 Minutes
George Clooney’s ‘The Midnight Sky’ takes us on two compelling, bittersweet sci-fi voyages according to Really Rather film critic Lisa Johnson Mandell.