George Clooney im Lockdown
Status: 09:21 a.m. | Reading time: 3 minutes
Netflix’s new Oscar candidate “The Midnight Sky” crosses “Solaris” with “Gravity” and knows that even in space, only family counts. And the end of mankind is best accompanied by strings.
DYou can tell from the first shot that this won’t turn out well here. There is a small Anubis statue on an otherwise rather clean desk. Anubis is the ancient Egyptian god of funeral rites and mummification.
The desk belongs to a research station literally at the end of the world. While the viewer orientates himself, an evacuation is in progress. All the employees of the Barbeau Observatory are queuing up in front of helicopters to be flown out. But fly out where? A terrible event triggered a chain reaction that spreads inexorably across the globe and poisoned the air. At the poles – the station is in the Arctic Circle – it arrives last.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a virus or radiation or whatever. The apocalypse is approaching and it is coming secretly, quietly and quietly. At most a few birds twitch from the sky as harbingers. “Three weeks after the event,” reads a fade-in. George Clooney is sitting at the breakfast table spooning some cereal. George Clooney heaves himself on a kind of dentist’s chair and puts an IV on himself. George Clooney looks melancholy through a hatch into space. George Clooney wears a long beard. George Clooney is all alone.
Apparently incurably ill, he decided to stay while everyone else flew to certain death – which they at least suffered with their loved ones. Clooney or Augustine Lofthouse, as his figure is called, a famous astronomer, not only indulges in self-pity, but his whiskey-soaked and chemo-pill-saturated sentimentality has a thoroughly altruistic purpose. Much more should not be revealed here, otherwise the twist would be revealed, which turns the plot upside down, similar to “The Sixth Sense”.
By the way, Clooney is not all alone. A child who got lost in the hustle and bustle of the evacuation has settled down in the ward kitchen. Together the two set off – through icy storms, over treacherous clods and swarmed by hungry wolves to get to Lake Hazen. This is a weather station even further north, from which there is a chance to reach a research spaceship – fragile and beautiful as a dragonfly – in which the presumably last people are on their way home unsuspecting. Your good news that a certain newly discovered Jupiter moon is habitable is now almost unheard.
Only Lofthouse the tears come. He has devoted his whole life to exploring the eternal expanses of the universe and also discovered the moon of Jupiter. Only family was always neglected. In the company of the child named Iris, he sobs bravely. In the spaceship, an astronaut is pregnant with a girl; among the suggested names is hyacinth. The women are called like delicate flowers and are therefore small miracles in horticultural environments such as the eternal ice or space.
To stick to metaphors from botany, “The Midnight Sky” could be described as a cross between “Solaris” and “Gravity”, two earlier Clooney projects. The new film has the introspection of “Solaris” and the theme of coping with loss. From “Gravity” the cool, breathtaking beauty. At the end it gets very melodramatic, and “Gravity” suffered from that too. The end of mankind can evidently best be accentuated with strings. Perhaps the excess of humanity that counteracts the rationality of science is precisely the secret recipe that will bring Netflix’s next Super Oscar candidate, especially in a year that stuck itself closely to the script of “The Midnight Sky”. At the end of the shooting in February it was still pure science fiction.