Is George Clooney's The Midnight Sky Actually a Horrifyingly 2020 Christmas Film?
Ah, Christmas. A time for family get-togethers, the exchange of gifts, much merriment and bonhomie.
Oh, no, sorry. That's last year's script, let's try again.
Ah, Christmas. A time for stilted Zoom calls, gifts exchanged via zero-hour-contracted delivery drivers, and an overriding sense of anxiety.
That's right, it's 2020, and the holiday season is shaping up to be one of dread and confinement. Which makes the arrival of the trailer for George Clooney's space epic, The Midnight Sky, particularly timely. The film is due to be released on Netflix on 23 December, known around my house as Christmas Eve-Eve, and frankly doesn't look all that cheery. Or Christmassy, unless read Clooney's facial hair and the Arctic blizzard setting can be read as a post-apocalyptic take on Santa's Workshop. *cracks knuckles*
So yes, seen from an angle, the trailer for The Midnight Sky looks like it might be the most 2020 of Christmas films, swapping out things like festive cheer and frivolity for a global catastrophe. Let's take a look at the evidence.
So, here's Clooney, spending time with his young daughter (yep, Christmassy) in a snowy landscape (best break the tinsel out), with a bushy beard and a big red jacket (hey, buddy, have another egg nog) where he's holed up after a wide-reaching tragedy that appears to have decimated the population of earth (less Christmassy, very 2020). He gets wind of a spaceship full of people who are seemingly unaware of the awfulness that's gone on while they're gone (this is basically Jared Leto emerging from that meditation retreat back in March). The crew is essentially in a nice safe support bubble, and so Clooney has to race across the tundra to a functioning antenna (read: Zoom call with stable internet) to warn them off, lest they get all Victoria Derbyshired.
Hopefully, Clooney and kid will save the day by getting everyone to believe in the magic of Santa. Or, in a more 2020 move, the ship will manage to avoid the Earth, then plough straight into the moon instead. Either way, The Midnight Sky looks like the Christmas story that 2020 deserves.
his story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.