Release year: 2016
Director: Jeff Nichols
Screenwriter: Jeff Nichols
Starring: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Bill Camp, Scott Haze, Sam Shepard
An unlikely boy (Jaeden Lieberher) is on the run with his father (Michael Shannon) and a family friend (Joel Edgerton). Chasing them is both the government as well as a cult, both wanting the boy for his special powers.
Jeff Nichols was noticed right from his debut feature Shotgun Stories (2007), also starring several times collaborator Shannon, and is already seen as one of the best directors of his generations. With Midnight Special he has created a drama in the Sci-Fi genre, more of a genre piece than his usual films, but still focusing on characters and with excellent acting. Shannon and Nichols seems a match made in heaven, with the director dragging out the very best of the actor as he did in Take Shelter (2011). He gets great support from an edgy Edgerton (Warrior, 2011) and Dunst (Elizabethtown, 2005) continue to show that she is very best in these smaller and more serious parts as in big budget blockbusters. But the real revelation is young Lieberher (St. Vincent, 2014), leaving promise of a grand career. The pace is rather slow with sudden burst of action as the people around young Alton, tries to get him to a mysterious place. The chase is intensified when NSA communication analyst Paul Svier, a great Driver (Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, 2015), is brought in, for the first time giving Alton an opponent smart enough to get close. Even though there are car chases, shootings and fights, it would be very wrong to classify this is an action movie, it is too character driven for that. It is a high quality indie Sci-Fi and can be enjoyed by people who normally stay clear of the fantastical genre, due to its beautiful photography and exceptional acting.
Jeff Nichols wrote the film as a reflection on becoming a father.
Picture copyrights: Warner Home Video