The Midnight Sky: Netflix Film Review

The Midnight Sky

I love a sci-fi film and always want to see the latest Hollywood offering so naturally, I was excited for George Clooney‘s latest directorial effort, The Midnight Sky, which debuts on Netflix on Wednesday.

Clooney plays Augustine Lofthouse, a scientist whose life ambition was to find hospitable planets where humanity could expand. The main action takes place in 2049, three weeks after “The Event”. Augustine is sick and alone in an observatory in the Arctic Circle as he refused to evacuate with the rest of the team. One day he discovers a young girl named Iris (Caoilinn Springall), presumably left behind following the evacuation, and together they must venture across the treacherous terrain to get to a weather station farther north as it has a better antenna for him to reach the last active space mission – Aether. The Aether crew – featuring Commander Gordon Adewole (David Oyelowo), Sully (Felicity Jones), Maya (Tiffany Boone), Mitchell (Kyle Chandler), and Sanchez (Demian Bichir) – are heading back to Earth from Jupiter following a successful mission to the habitable moon K-23 and have no idea of the global catastrophe that’s taken place.

I was fully excited by the premise for The Midnight Sky, a movie adaptation of Good Morning, Midnight by Lily-Brooks Dalton, and I came away so disappointed. Considering this film is supposed to depict a race against time, there is a surprising lack of urgency to it and the pacing is dreadfully slow. I held out hope for the moment when it would eventually pick up the pace to reach a thrilling climax, but it doesn’t. There are a couple of big moments that should have had a dramatic impact yet they aren’t told with much emotional clout, just the cinematic equivalent of a shrug. Everything is so bizarrely underplayed.

It is also frustratingly vague. Mark L. Smith‘s screenplay holds back so much information that it was hard to care about anyone or their situation. We aren’t given any details about The Event so we have to draw our own conclusions and I had so many questions about Augustine – Why he is at the observatory? What is his role? Why didn’t he evacuate? What illness is he suffering from? We get a couple of flashbacks about his past but they’re still not enough. I also had so much I wanted to know about the Aether mission and his trek to the weather station as well, but again, we are offered so little.

I can’t fault Clooney’s performance, he convinces as the hollow-eyed miserable scientist who is truly fed up with his lot, and I also liked the visuals, the scale and ambition of the story, and Alexandre Desplat‘s score, but what a waste of a fantastic idea. So unsatisfying.

Streaming on Netflix from Wednesday 23rd December

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Highlights from Alfonso Cuaron’s BAFTA screenwriting lecture

On Sunday, Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron stopped by BAFTA’s London headquarters to talk about his career and his screenwriting process – and here are all the interesting things I learned.

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Suburbicon: Film Review

Suburbicon

I felt confident about Suburbicon – what with it being directed by George Clooney and starring Matt Damon and Julianne Moore – until the bad reviews came out following its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. I didn’t let that faze me as I wanted it to be good and I went in full of hope – and came away miffed about the mixed bag I had witnessed.

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Money Monster: Film Review

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Seeing George Clooney playing a charismatic but douchey TV host who dances and has plenty of gimmicks is something I never knew I wanted but thanks to Money Monster we all get to enjoy those moments, which are the total highlights of this political thriller slash comedy. Yep, you read that correctly. It’s an odd combo but one I loved immensely. Big fan of Jodie Foster’s latest directorial effort.

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Top Films for May

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It’s that time of the month again – where I choose the releases I’m looking forward to in May. There isn’t a huge amount of good ‘uns but my picks below look pretty damn sweet.

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Hail, Caesar!: Film Review

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I love movies based in the movie industry and I do love a good cast and Hail, Caesar! filled both criteria. I was still not 100% confident I would like it because I do not enjoy all the Coen brothers’ work, but I was still hoping for more than what it ultimately gave.

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Top Films for March

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It’s that time of the month again guys – movie preview time! There isn’t a huge amount of exciting releases to choose from in March so the list is more compact than usual. But as the saying goes, it’s all about quality over quantity and there seems to be some pretty decent movies on the horizon. Here are my picks:

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Top Films for 2016

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2016 has well and truly kicked off so what better time to look at the movies coming up in the year ahead and get excited about some the releases to come?

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Tomorrowland: Film Review

I loved Tomorrowland (or Tomorrowland: A World Beyond as it’s called over here) and enjoyed it up until a point towards the end when I started feeling a bit deflated. This film has been quite mysterious in its promotional material, never revealing what the land is and what happens, so while I usually avoid spoilers, it is impossible here, so proceed with caution.

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Tomorrowland: European Premiere Pics

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Today the stars of Tomorrowland: A World Beyond came out to London’s Leicester Square for the film’s premiere including George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie and newcomer Raffey Cassidy (who is the breakout star of the entire movie in my book!)

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