Netflix's 2020 Oscar slate remains underwhelming with director/star George Clooney's apocalyptic drama The Midnight Sky.
An environmental disaster has rendered most of Earth uninhabitable. Clooney plays a dying scientist in an Arctic research station determined to restore the satellite communications equipment so he can contact astronauts returning home from a mission to one of Jupiter's moons and tell them to turn around. He's accompanied by a silent girl (Caoilinn Springal) who also stayed behind at the facility.
The script is disjointed. Much of the first half is focused on Clooney and Springal, but the second half is almost entirely focused on the astronauts (led by Felicity Jones and David Oyelowo). A few individual scenes make a mark. There's a creepy one late in the film involving what it looks like when someone bleeds heavily in a zero-gravity environment.
The Midnight Sky is never bad, but it never really connects on an emotional level, either. As a result, we're left with a film that's not good enough to justify spending two hours with such a depressing story.
The Midnight Sky is playing at the Prytania Theatres at Canal Place and will debut on Netflix on December 23.