Director Jeff Nichols arrested our attention with two gritty and realistic dramas in the form of Mud and Take Shelter in recent times, but for his latest creative venture, Midnight Special, the filmmaker is harkening back to a very particular brand of old-school science fiction.
A few months back, the movie’s maiden trailer evoked memories of Steven Spielberg’s seminal Close Encounters of the Third Kind, though Midnight Special and its familial dynamic is tailored more to the realm of the supernatural as opposed to extra-terrestrials – so far as we can tell, anyway. Reuniting with frequent collaborator Michael Shannon, the story centers on the relationship between Shannon’s father Roy and his young son (Jaeden Lieberher), who harbors a raw and inexplicable power.
Caught between the US military and a religious sect led by Star Wars: The Force Awakens alum Adam Driver, Midnight Special soon has Shannon’s patriarch seeking refuge as he looks to protect the son he holds nearest and dearest. It is, as the director describes, a “sci-fi chase film.” Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst and Sam Shepard complete the impressive ensemble.
Midnight Special will hit theaters on March 18, soon after making its bow at SXSW 2016 the week before.
In the sci-fi thriller “Midnight Special,” writer/director Jeff Nichols proves again that he is one of the most compelling storytellers of our time, as a father (Michael Shannon) goes on the run to protect his young son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), and uncover the truth behind the boy’s special powers. What starts as a race from religious extremists and local law enforcement quickly escalates to a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the Federal Government. Ultimately his father risks everything to protect Alton and help fulfill a destiny that could change the world forever in this genre–defying film as supernatural as it is intimately human.