This post-apocalyptic tale follows Augustine, a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to stop Sully and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.
Title: The Midnight Sky | Release Date: 2020-Dec-23 | Studio: Netflix | Starring: George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo | Runtime: 1 hr 58 minutes | Source: Netflix | Starred Review
The Midnight Sky Review
A few minutes into watching The Midnight Sky, which had been a random grab on Netflix, I got the feeling that I’d heard this story before. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you read a lot or watch a lot of TV, certain plots start to seem very familiar, but… this one bugged me. It was too specific. So, I searched it up and found to my delight(!) it was based on the book Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton.
I originally reviewed Good Morning, Midnight on the site in 2016. It left a strong impression on me, and you can read the full review HERE. One of my pull-quotes from it is:
The book was exceptional. Hard to review because it was more about the reading experience than the contents of the book itself, but well worth reading and screaming at everyone around me that they needed to read this book.
Now, obviously, because it’s an adaptation and they have to screw with things (sometimes just because certain things don’t convey well in a visual forum), The Midnight Sky changes some stuff up, and as a result, it is sadly more predictable and doesn’t quite have the oomph of the original story. However, that same quiet, entrancing feel is still present. I have a ridiculously short attention span anymore, especially in 2020, and yet I sat through the whole thing, barely looking away.
Now, focusing specifically on the movie itself, I’ll say this: George Clooney surprised me. I don’t particularly like the man, for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. However, he did a bang up job of playing the regretful, grizzled old coot here. Never tried to do too much, never turned on the smarmy charm. It was nice.
They did almost too good of a job casting Iris and Sully. The two actors look so much alike that it kind of immediately clues you in to a possible plot. Caoilinn Springhall, who plays Iris, did a good job with the little cliche that she had to work with. (You’ll see what I mean when you watch it.) I would love to see her work with something a bit more challenging to see what she can do.
The adult actors were all well-chosen, and bring both energy and charisma to the screen.
Honestly, in most respects, The Midnight Sky was a very well done film. It’s mostly faithful to the book, the camera work is solid, the settings are gorgeous, and you never get the feeling that one actor is trying to one-up the others. It is solid, heart-felt, and beautiful without crossing the line into tropey or cheesy.
Highly recommend giving it a watch.
Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Coolthulhu Crew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
Though no longer involved with Ladies of Horror Fiction due to other responsibilities and a too-full plate, she was one of the original 4 co-founders.
Feel free to chat her up on Twitter as long as you aren’t hitting her up to review your book.
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