George Clooney‘s The Midnight Sky (Netflix, 12.23) is an apocalyptic gloom-and-doomer of an allegedly high calibre. Based on Lily Brooks-Dalton‘s “Good Morning, Midnight” with a screenplay by Mark L. Smith, it’s about an Arctic-based scientist named Augustine (Clooney), seriously ill and coping with a ruined world, trying to keep a team of astronauts (Felicity Jones, Kyle Chandler, Demian Bichir, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone) from returning to earth.
I’m personally devastated that this ambitious film, directed by Clooney and shot on large-format 65mm celluloid, won’t be commercially booked into IMAX theatres or any other big-screen venue due to Covid. I’m also depressed to have heard that George recently rented out Westwood’s Village theatre to screen it for a few Netflix staffers and friends. Depressed, I mean, that I wasn’t invited to attend. I live for large-format films and huge screens…c’mon.
HE to Netflix: Please consider showing it again on a big screen and inviting a few masked journos (including myself) to see it wherever…IMAX headquarters, Westwood, American Cinematheque, you name it.
From Pete Hammond’s Deadline interview with Clooney, posted on 11.23: “[This] is an exceptionally well-made and engrossing film, an epic told on an intimate scale that…deserves to be on anyone’s short list for awards recognition. Its images have certainly haunted me since I saw it a few weeks ago, particularly in the facial expressions of Clooney’s young co-star, 8-year-old Caoilinn Springall, chosen from among hundreds who auditioned.
“I could easily see nominations for Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Production Design, Score, Film Editing (from longtime Clooney associate Stephen Mirrione), Sound, Hair and Makeup, Visual Effects and for Clooney’s lead performance, an understated turn that is deeply moving.
“Like much of what attracts Clooney to make movies these days, this one has a penetrating resonance and pertinence for what is going on in our lives, and despite a large-scale production shot in Iceland during horrific weather conditions and on a soundstage in England involving a virtual spaceship and other VR challenges, it is ultimately an intimate story full of silences and internal thought and the need for human connection.
“Oddly, it also offers hope. It is that last part that not only makes this an exciting and also meaningful adventure, but one that also makes this film feel incredibly relevant right now.”