One day that some very nerd friends would come visit, I asked the help of Google to find what was considered the best Sci-fi movies of 2016. It was among a lot of amazing productions I've had already seen that I found out about Midnight Special.
This movie is a small gem, I'll say up front. It is a studio production with a weight of all that a good indie movie has. I saw a Jeff Nichols' film before, Mud, many times on cable. It is a sweet and bitter tale of coming-of-age, with intense performances by Matthew McGonaughey (I don't believe I spelled it right in the first try) and Reese Whiterspoon. I'm looking for his other films now because of Midnight Special.
The cast is great. Michael Shannon is a constant in Nichols' movies, as I've read after. Kirsten Dusnt is in a very unusual role for her, and delivers a heartfelt Sarah. Adam Driver is perfect as the NSA brainiac. The kid? Course, Jaeden Lieberher took us all with him, without even asking. And we go willingly.
This sci-fi movie is exquisite. There's not many explanation of a lot of things preceding the point when we start to follow the story, but there's not a single hole on the script, if you think carefully. What Nichols explicits here is that any story has a frame of time, of space. Yes, there's those, like David Copperfield, that tell all, from the moment they're born till death comes with a vengeance or not. Even so, there's many things before and after. Where is the beginning of things, after all? Nichols tells us he is not interesting in explaining that. He allows us to form the story with him, and what he doesn't show we can figure out easily - that's the beauty in a story well constructed. If you look for something already chewed for you, maybe even still this film will grab your attention, the suspense and action are interesting and well done.
It was more difficult for me at the end, but just because I'm a bit slow (if it was just a bit...). It was obvious what was happening, the wires on a character's head. It took me a while to realize what it was, but I'm very satisfied with my perception of it.
To move through a story and taking bits of it to built a bigger scenery is a feature just good directors achieve with such success. We're lucky that there are a lot of them out there, giving us not only big masterpieces, but also small gems like this movie, both equally fundamental to our lives despite their different dimensions. I'll watch Nichols more attentively from now own.
|Midnight Special. Directed and written by Jeff Nichols. Cast: Michael Shannon,|
Joel Edgerton, Jaeden Lieberher. USA/Greece (what?), 2016, Dolby Digital/
Datasat, Color, 112 min.