The Midnight Sky Netflix Film Review

★★★ Stars

Directed by: #GeorgeClooney

Written by: #MarkLSmith

Starring: #GeorgeClooney, #FelicityJones, #DavidOyelowo, #CaoilinnSpringall, #TiffanyBoone

Film Review by: Alicia Moore

“A lone scientist in the Arctic races to contact a crew of astronauts returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.”

The Midnight Sky is a film based on the book Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton, which has recently been released on Netflix. Immediately, the concept of this film intrigued me to a great extent, as well as spotting a few of my favourite names within the cast and crew. I didn’t want to set extremely high exceptions due to the fact that I wanted to immerse myself in the space it provides on screen without high boarders holding me back, and I’m glad I chose that path. It is a worthy film, truly, but definitely does not escape a fair share of faults overall.

Of course, to see George Clooney’s name as director made me beyond excited — I’ve always been quite fascinated by his directorial work; one of the films I find myself recommending the most to people is Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I love that film entirely, and I’ve found that it carries a certain ‘Clooney flare’ that can be uncovered in his other films where he stands as director. Clooney’s strategies have an underlying sense of colour, even when the film consists of activities such as murder, and the casting choices have been known to enhance that colour further, just like Sam Rockwell’s work as Chuck Barris. However, The Midnight Sky is vastly different when referring to this flare. It possesses a more mediocre, almost egotistical, approach to the story. I wasn’t expecting the same burst of vitality as his other films because of the more weighty storyline, but I was disappointed to see that all of the flare had been drowned and no form of colour enhancement could generally be seen. Although, that doesn’t completely destroy any praise I do carry for Clooney’s work on this film. Despite my subtle disappointments, he still showcased progression in his techniques that catch the eye.

Taking my mentioning of the lack of ‘colour enhancement’ into consideration, this by no means indicates that the cast members do not present amazing performances. The acting is easy to watch, a graceful way to convey an ultimately heartbreaking story. Each character carries a consistency of personality throughout that is then built upon by the unfolding events. Essentially, The Midnight Sky can be described as being split into two stories that connect at heart as events occur within space as well as on Earth. An impressive connection can be felt between the two groups of individuals despite the many miles separating them; this is certainly down to acting abilities and how the cast adapt to their characters.

The screenplay itself, written by Mark L. Smith, needed a lot more development to let stronger emotion cycle in all aspects. The emotional connection of the characters cannot affectively transmit onto the audience due to the break in depth of the basis of the storyline. Even such elements like an explanation of what the global catastrophe consists of, some hard hitting details that directly heightened the senses of the viewer, would bridge this inclusive cycle greatly.

The highest praiseworthy factor of The Midnight Sky is the music introduced during its duration (by Alexandre Desplat.) There are many different tones used within the tracks that perfectly suit the film and, in particular, the scenes that they are used in. This orchestral soundtrack evokes the sense of place — be it the quiet research station where the stars are shining above, the instruments mimicking their sparkle, or the true vastness of space with heavier, drumming beats that pound deep in the ears.

The Midnight sky is not a film with overwhelmingly spectacular qualities, but it is still a very delectable watch. The visuals are compelling and can be gazed upon mesmerisingly. I’m actually more interested in reading the book the film is based on after watching though; I’m eager to dive into the story as it was originally presented.