George Clooney made a science fiction movie, but this time in his own way

George Clooney made a science fiction movie, but this time in his own way

Conceived before Covid-19 but now released on Netflix, Midnight Sky has changed twice in the course of construction to become what it is. That is hyper contemporary. To see immediately

It has already happened often. And this time too George Clooney had to return to space as an actor and that's it. As in Gravity and Solaris, he was to be the protagonist of Midnight Sky, the adaptation of the novel by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Or at least that's what they had proposed to him when they sent him the script. Once read, however, another race began: he understood that he had ideas about the potential and possibilities of the story, and that he wanted to shoot it to give it the tone he wanted. In short, he went to the producers to ask to make this his seventh film as a director, explaining to them how he saw it and convincing them that it was the best way to make it.

Midnight Sky is a film with a potentially story adventurous than adventurous, he is brooding, and here the sense of isolation and the desire for contact with the neighbor of the characters matter much more than what happens to him. After all, of the two plots that are destined to meet in one, the one with Clooney as the protagonist concerns the last man left on Earth after everyone has gone because he is close to collapse, a terminally ill person who has made the mission of saving the planet of life and now contemplates the failure of everything he believed in just as he discovers that before leaving the last spaceship he forgot a child there with him in the Antarctic; while the other plot concerns a spaceship that has explored a new planet that is excellent for the life of the human race and is returning to Earth unaware of what happened.

For George Clooney Midnight Sky had to be a film capable of reflecting on what is obviously happening to us, but also on what man can do to himself through his actions. And then, something happened. Filming ended before March, once the pandemic broke out there was no more work to do on the set, but only in the editing room and therefore remotely. The film only needed to be assembled, finished and completed in the visual effects sector, but the change in the world situation has also distorted the meaning of the film. It was so tied to the problems of climate change, so tied to the survival of humanity, that a new danger - despite not being in the plot - is reflected in the ways the film tells of humans who are alone and would like to be with other humans. .

George Clooney is a strange director, he cultivates this activity not to replace his acting career but to support it, turning from time to time and without the enthusiasm to chase the market. He is probably the only American to have been nominated for an Oscar in six different categories (lead and supporting actor, original and adapted screenplay, producer and director) and has now filmed for Netflix. He is not impervious to the fact that the industry has changed, he has no plans to participate in the huge blockbusters and he knows that the streaming platform is the only entity that is willing to invest a lot of money in movies like Midnight Sky, so that's not a problem that he does not go into the room.

It even initially seemed that, like The Irishman (not yet released at the time), the role of the protagonist as a young man would go to Clooney himself, digitally retouched. But the uproar surrounding Robert De Niro's version made him opt for an old-fashioned solution, that is, another actor, so that no noise would be created around that single element of the film and Midnight Sky could have his life without having to exist at all. shadow of "technology works or does not work". He hasn't given up on another trick, however. Ethan Peck's voice (the actor in question) has been merged with his. So the final result is a mixture of the two, digitally obtained so that the characters have the same tone and that it is believable that they are the same person.

Finally, as if the film were destined to be influenced by the The female lead, Felicity Jones, found out she was expecting a baby while filming was underway. Her first choice was to hide it, avoiding framing it at the height of her belly; then, however, Clooney himself realized that turning that character into a pregnant woman could give the job a whole new tone. A story of uninhabitable planets and the search for new places where existing could be enriched with something more to protect, a new life contained in one of the protagonists. Nobody would have thought of it if it hadn't happened spontaneously.

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