Midnight in the universe on Netflix: George Clooney signs a film with a neat aesthetic but with a rambling script, our critic

Midnight in the universe on Netflix: George Clooney signs a film with a neat aesthetic but with a rambling script, our critic
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Is the sci-fi movie Midnight Into the Universe directed by George Clooney worth a look? Here is our verdict.

If you have enough Christmas films and their many pictures, you might be tempted to see if the grass isn’t greener elsewhere. This is a bit like what the crew of the Aether mission did in the science fiction movie Midnight in the universe directed by George Clooney and written by Mark L. Smith, screenwriter of the Revenant. Midnight in the universe Teleports us to an Earth that has become uninhabitable following a mysterious event. As entire families are evacuated and taken to temporary underground shelters, genius scientist Augustin Lofthouse decides to remain alone in one of the observation bases.

Augustin Lofthouse (George Clooney) and young Iris (Caoilinn Springall) in Midnight in the Universe – Credit (s): Netflix

However, this task will ultimately not be done solo, since Augustine will run into a little girl named Iris during one of his rounds in the base. Far from slowing him down, the mysterious child is determined to keep him company and assist him in his work, which will soon melt the shell of the taciturn scientist. The two will thus embark on a last-ditch mission to try to make contact with the Aether, a crew on their way to Earth after being in space for two years. Its purpose was to explore a new planet called K23, and determine if it could serve as a new home for humanity. Unfortunately, the blue planet did not wait for the return of the astronauts to become inhospitable.

Sully (Felicity Jones) and Adewole (David Oyelowo) in Midnight in the Universe
Sully (Felicity Jones) and Adewole (David Oyelowo) in Midnight in the Universe – Credit (s): Netflix

It’s sort of two stories in one that offers Midnight in the universe, and this is its main flaw. If at the beginning the back and forth between the Earth and the Aether make sense and remain dynamic, the second part of the film sees a clear imbalance between the two. Augustine’s story is paused to better focus on that of the Aether crew, which nevertheless remains superficially explored, thus giving the impression of ultimately not knowing much about the protagonists. It is therefore difficult to become completely attached to the different characters, and to be touched by their respective destinies. We are left hungry, as if certain pieces of the puzzle were deliberately hidden from us. However, if Midnight in the universe does not shine with its scenario with the concept however promising, the film satisfies thanks to its esthetics.

Augustin Lofthouse (George Clooney) in Midnight in the Universe
Augustin Lofthouse (George Clooney) in Midnight in the Universe – Credit (s): Netflix

Each plan is neat and perfectly emphasizes the difference between an Earth that has become hostile and the world without gravity in which the astronauts evolve. The whole is sublimated by an original soundtrack signed Alexandre Desplat, to whom we owe in particular those of the films The Shape of Water and Daughters of Doctor March. On the casting side, George Clooney wears very well the double hat of director and actor. Almost unrecognizable in the role of Augustine, he aptly interprets this scientist for whom space has always counted more than his own life, even if it leaves him filled with regret. As for Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Damian Bichir and Tiffany Boone, who form the crew of the Aether, they manage to transmit all the good will and the hope of these astronauts eager to find theirs. Midnight in the universe is therefore above all a pleasure for the eyes, a human story but whose scenario struggles to intrigue and satisfy until the end. In a completely different register, you can now find on Netflix Ma Rainey’s Blues with Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis.





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