A 2021 Film Journey: Day 78

I’ve finally made it through the end of the week. This week was quite the slog, and this post is coming out way too late, but here we are. Tonight’s viewing sent me down one of the two categories in this year’s Oscars that I’ve as of today seen no entries in (the other being narrative short): visual effects.

The Midnight Sky (2020, Dir. George Clooney)

The Midnight Sky' Review: George Clooney's Sodden Dystopian Drama - Variety

I feel like I’ve been rather negative for the last few film entries, but unfortunately, I need to once again tonight. The Midnight Sky split the difference between cerebral arthouse science fiction and commercially friendly science fantasy and in doing so created a film that’s not for anyone. Aside from two intense sequences, the film leans closer towards the more introspective side, but the themes are too blunt and under formed to succeed otherwise.

The crux of the films issues comes from the two stories. While the two do have a clearly defined connection and attempt to share themes, both are significantly underdeveloped to the extent that the thematic connection is lost. Too much of the film’s runtime is caught up in conveying what happens as part of the story, that the characters’ why are ignored. I don’t need the science explained, but a movie like this needs motivations and personal demons to be clearly expressed for the metaphor to work.

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