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The Midnight Sky Premiere

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Post by party animal - not! Wed 23 Dec 2020, 12:49





................ is tonight!





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Post by Way2Old4Dis Wed 23 Dec 2020, 18:26

I'm watching it tonight!

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Post by LizzyNY Wed 23 Dec 2020, 20:09

Me too! Smile
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Post by Donnamarie Thu 24 Dec 2020, 04:58

I just finished watching it.  I was a bit skeptical about being able to get into this film because I’m not a sci-fi fan.  But this movie went beyond that. It started out a bit slow but thought it picked up the pace with the intro of the little girl, Iris.  I thought George gave a subtle, thoughtful performance ... what he’s best at IMO.  Overall I liked it especially for the story behind the story.  The ending is touching but left me more sad than hopeful.
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Post by LizzyNY Thu 24 Dec 2020, 15:14

I wish I had read less about it before I saw it. I found myself looking for things that were mentioned in reviews or by George in his interviews. That said, I liked it. All the performances were spot on. George was totally believable and I was especially taken by the little girl and the actress  who played Maya (I can't think of her name) who made quite an impression in a relatively small part.

I think the almost guaranteed Oscar would be for visual effects. The film is stunning. The cinematographer and everyone involved with editing and design did a brilliant job. The visuals, more than anything else (for me) created most of the emotional impact and tension of the story.

The theme of the movie isn't new. There are dozens of "end of the world" and "find a new earth" films out there. I'd say this is one of the better ones and one of George's best as a director.
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Post by Way2Old4Dis Thu 24 Dec 2020, 17:44

I really liked it. As Lizzy said, it's stunning to watch. The screenplay is no great shakes - I think that when the dialogue is so sparse, every line needs weight - but the performances, especially George's, the little girl's, and Tiffany Boone's (Maya), are excellent. I would have liked to have seen (1) another look at the two men who returned to earth, as they got close enough to know they're doomed; and (2) a better visual signal or cue that Augustine was about to die during that last communication with the space ship.

But it was really well done, and I think George can be proud. I know I am.

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Post by LizzyNY Thu 24 Dec 2020, 18:37

I don't want to be a spoiler for anyone who hasn't seen it yet. I'm still processing my feelings about some plot choices and the end of the film, but I'll wait until more of us have seen it to explain.

Way2Old -I'm not sure why you think a better signal was needed that Augustine was about to die. We knew from the beginning (and all his interviews! Smile ) that he was terminally ill and had little time left. I think the way it was done made sense.
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Post by Way2Old4Dis Thu 24 Dec 2020, 22:55

Hey, Lizzy. Trying not to give anything away...

... Go back to the scene where the little girl doesn't tell him her name, but draws the picture. Watch his reaction.

Now consider that yes, we know he's going to die, but not when, in relation to the events. The fact that he holds on until he does is significant. But his deteriorating condition doesn't visually accelerate before that last communication - that is, he doesn't look much different then than he had before - so that tension of 'what will he get to say?' is lost in that moment of last words with Sully. At least, to me. Not a flaw; just a difference of creative opinion.

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Post by LizzyNY Thu 24 Dec 2020, 23:44

O.K., I didn't think there was any significance to his reaction to the picture. I need to rewatch it because, if you're right, it's a signal.

Throughout the film he seemed to me to get weaker and sicker, although for a lot of the time it was hard to tell how he looked because he was covered in ice. I wondered if he would say anything to Sully and understand why he made the choice he did.

There are some things I'd like to discuss, but not yet. The rest of you get off your butts and watch the film so we can discuss it freely! I don't want to spoil it for anyone.
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Post by Missa Fri 25 Dec 2020, 02:22

It’s hard to discuss without giving away plot points (maybe we need a separate spoiler thread?), but I think we’re meant to expect a quick decline after a certain point given information from the beginning of the film.
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Post by LizzyNY Fri 25 Dec 2020, 02:57

I agree. That, coupled with the need to contact the Aether is what creates the urgency in the story. Does it work for you?
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Post by Way2Old4Dis Fri 25 Dec 2020, 03:19

Oh, it's all part of it, agreed. But my point is, we the audience know something right off the bat that Augustine doesn't (from the opening evacuation scene), but he has to come to the realization - and to me, the bigger urgency is how much and to whom he will get to say before he dies. His dying, even the 'when' of it, is a given (also, as said, from that opening scene).

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Post by LizzyNY Fri 25 Dec 2020, 15:31

I'm not sure what you mean that we knew and he didn't. Can you explain without it being a spoiler?
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Post by Way2Old4Dis Fri 25 Dec 2020, 21:47

Remember the name of the 'lost' child that the woman at the beginning was calling...

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Post by LizzyNY Sat 26 Dec 2020, 00:29

I had to go back and check. She was calling out for Anna. How does that connect?
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Post by Way2Old4Dis Sat 26 Dec 2020, 06:24

Just saying that we know the little girl isn't the one who was thought to be left behind, because we know that little girl's name upfront. So she has to be either another real child (very unlikely and bad storytelling), a figment of his imagination/manifestation of his illness and/or state of mind, or a coping mechanism. And we knew that before the character did.

When Augustine 'learns' her name, he knows who she is and what she represents, and everything he says to her after that can be looked at differently when we know he knows she's not a left-behind child..

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Post by LizzyNY Sat 26 Dec 2020, 16:06

You're much more observant than I am. By the time she appeared I had forgotten the name of the child the woman was looking for - at least on a conscious level - and I think I assumed she was the left behind girl - until Augustine learned her name. That's when I knew there was more to her, but just filed it away for later. When the truth was revealed I wasn't surprised.

Aaarrrgh! I want to say more, but I don't want to give away too much for people who haven't seen it yet.
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Post by Way2Old4Dis Sat 26 Dec 2020, 16:43

That's one of the many things I liked about it - that expectations were seeded and then left, to be picked up and paid off later.

I'm with you. Lots to discuss. For instance, I wonder if there was more of the Sanchez/Maya father/daughter figure relationship that was filmed but didn't make it to the screen. I would have used that instead of some of the stuff between Sully and the David O. character. (Not that it wasn't good.)

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Post by LizzyNY Sat 26 Dec 2020, 17:44

I agree about the Sanchez/Maya relationship. There were a few "relationship" aspects that I think could have been explored more deeply without hurting the film. I like it but, like most of the films he has directed, I think it lacked a depth that could have been achieved with a few script tweaks - maybe a bit less focus on Augustine and a little more development of the other characters.
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Post by Donnamarie Sun 27 Dec 2020, 05:08

George mentioned in one of his interviews that regret more than the cancer attributed to Augustine’s death at the end.    I thought the ending was fitting.  Everything had come full circle for Augustine.  He let go.

I found the story between Augustine and Iris more intriguing and interesting than the story on the space craft.  The heart of the story is Augustine and Iris.  I  agree the astronauts’ characters could have been fleshed out more.  But overall a really good screenplay.  Tho there were a couple of scenes that challenged believability.  The cinematography was terrific.  I think George wants the viewer to see beyond the typical apocalyptic sci fi yarn to a story about people connecting with each other.  Many of the critical reviews fail to acknowledge what George was going for.  I think that’s why I liked it as much as I did because of the emotional aspect of Augustine’s character.  He was such a pained character and George really delivered in his performance.  The Chicago Tribune said “ This is easily Clooney’s finest hour behind the camera since “Good Night and Good Luck” 15 years ago.  And it’s one of his finest performances.”  I agree.


Last edited by Donnamarie on Sun 27 Dec 2020, 05:51; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text)
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Post by carolhathaway Sun 27 Dec 2020, 10:48

I signed up Netflix last night to be able to watch it, and my husband and I were glued to zhe screen.
Weboth  loved the film and didn't have the feeling that the relations between the space crew needed to be deepened.
I wished we had been able to watch the film on a big screen...
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Post by LizzyNY Sun 27 Dec 2020, 15:51

Donnamarie - I agree this might be one of his best performances and certainly one of his most challenging. As for directing, I think all his films are well directed - but maybe not as well written or edited as they could be. I think this succeeds partly because he and Grant, although I'm sure they had a lot of input, didn't write the script.

Carol - I was about to agree with you that I wish I had seen the film on a large screen but I'm not so sure. I do want to see it on a big screen because I think the effects would be amazing. But, I think seeing it on a small screen makes you focus more on the actors' performances rather than the visual effects. If it ever gets released in theaters I want to go and see the visual effects the way they were meant to be seen.
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Post by party animal - not! Mon 28 Dec 2020, 17:07


Impressive stuff all round - and part of me thinks it would've have been even more so on a large screen partly because I think that the enormity of what we are witness to would have been even greater.

And given the state of the world, of course this is all distinctly possible............

Timely stuff

And it would be interesting to get the author's view too - she's also written a book called Motorcycles I've Loved!

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Post by Donnamarie Tue 05 Jan 2021, 01:13

The cinematography was so beautiful that I would have loved seeing the film on a wide screen.  But also agree with Lizzy that the movie is really about these interesting characters and a small screen just seems more conducive.  But in the end the movie works either way ... 

I watched the movie again a few days ago and have to say I enjoyed it even more.  I have to take back what I said in an earlier post about the crew’s characters needing to be fleshed out.  Especially after watching a second time I had a much better feel for the crew and their relationship to each other.  The timing of the movie’s release was perfect given all that’s going on in the world right now.
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Post by carolhathaway Tue 05 Jan 2021, 22:26

One thing just came to my mind: 
Didn't George mention that they would leave L.A. to return to Sonning before christmas because they were planning a 'drive-in-premiere' and he needed to do a lot of preparations for that?
Did anybody hear or read anything about that?
Actually, I can't imagine that they did anything like that because of the Covid mutation - and I hope that George and his beloved ones will continue to fly under the radar as they have done since spring...
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Post by carolhathaway Tue 05 Jan 2021, 23:29

I just found the answer to my question in this video of George and Stephen Colbert:

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