Midnight in the Universe on Netflix: how the film echoes the pandemic according to George Clooney – teller report

In his post-apocalyptic drama, “Midnight in the Universe”, available on Netflix, George Clooney offers a vision of a world at the end of its rope. For the actor and director, the parallels between his film and the current situation are numerous.

Midnight in the Universe on Netflix how the film echoes

Three years later Welcome to Suburbicon, George Clooney is carrying out his most ambitious project: Midnight in the Universe, available on Netflix since December 23. With a budget of $ 100 million, the film is the adaptation of the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. It tells of the loneliness of a scientist, Augustine Lofthouse (George Clooney), who, isolated at a base in the middle of the Arctic, must prevent the return of a team of astronauts to Earth when it has become uninhabitable.

After several months of filming, George Clooney finishes his last shots in February 2020, a month before many countries – such as France and the United States – enter a period of confinement. Faced with this unprecedented situation, the filmmaker follows the different stages of post-production from his house: the editing, the development of visual and sound effects, or even the composition of the soundtrack, recorded in the famous Abbey Road studios. , in London.

Another resonance

As the death toll rises and the pandemic continues to isolate citizens, Midnight in the universe takes on a whole new meaning for its director. “When we started this project, we wanted to talk about the things humanity is capable of doing to itself.“, he explains to USA Today. In a world plagued by COVID-19, the film highlights “the consequences of not being able to be with loved ones“.

To communicate with their loved ones, the characters only have screens or a virtual reality simulator. A detail that seems trivial since this device comes up many times in science fiction films. However, social distancing requires, interposed camera conversations have never been more frequent than in our time. These scenes therefore find a whole new resonance. But far from wanting to make a pessimistic drama, George Clooney specifies that it was important to instill “a message of hope at the end“.

Midnight in the universe, a warning ?

As for the actors, like David Oyelowo, who plays the role of Tom Adewole, the same feeling: the film is no longer even a fantasy at times. “There is a sequence where we look at planet Earth enveloped in this pollution, these nuclear clouds. And I had this head watching TV for months when I saw the numbers of cases increase“, remembers the actor.

Felicity Jones, who plays Sully, the female lead, sees Midnight in the Universe as a more extreme version of reality: “We thought we were untouchable, didn’t we? And then our beliefs were shaken to the point of not knowing how the situation would turn out.“The actress, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2015, admits that if the film takes the situation a step further, it can be considered”in some ways” as “a warning“for our future.

Check out the movie trailer:

And its original soundtrack signed Alexandre Desplat: