Review of 'The Midnight Sky'

the_midnight_sky.jpg Augustine (George Clooney) is the last scientist left in a research facility in the Arctic after a global catastrophe has left the rest of the planet uninhabitable. He is able to contact the spacecraft Æther, returning from a successful mission to Jupiter he proposed to investigate the habitability of one of it's moons but before he is able to warn them off their return to Earth the signal is lost. Thinking he is alone in the research station Augustine is surprised to discover Iris (Caoilinn Springall), a young mute girl. Desperate to warn the crew of the spacecraft of the danger waiting for them, he decides to make the treacherous journey to a distant artic communication station along with his new friend.

A very powerful, dark, but moving film from Clooney that explores one man's ambition and drive to salvage what he can of the tatters of humanity but in the process discovers something far more personal. The slow pace of the film aptly suits the story though with a few tense action moments thrown in here and there with some particularly harrowing sequences on the spacecraft. The film does little in the way of explaining what exactly has happened to the planet, which is a good thing, leaving the viewer a bit in the dark but paying attention to learn as much as we can of the situation. Despite an initial rough reception, the older man and young child soon form a strong emotional attachment as they learn more about one another despite the lack of conversation. Some of the plot twists are more than a bit far fetched but there is a plot twist at the end that genuinely caught me by surprise that really puts a deeply human perspective to the entire film. Having said that, this is not exactly an up-beat film with the few humans left simply struggling to survive.

The film looks beautiful and is utterly convincing from the incredible sequences in the artic to the scenes in and around the spacecraft. The effects are restrained and manage to stay out of the way of the all-important story and characters. They are not super-wiz-bang but simply utilitarian and the world is utterly believable.

Though often slow going, there are frequent action sequences that should keep most viewers very well entertained with a huge emotional payoff at the end. Not exactly up-beat but a tremendously good film.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2021-01-29

Directed by: George Clooney

Studio: Anonymous Content

Year: 2020

Length: 118 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films by George Clooney: