Jeff Nichols’ remarkable filmmaking career has been marked by deeply felt, refreshingly sincere films that place human experience and emotion at the forefront. On the surface, a sci-fi feature like “Midnight Special” might not sound like the right vessel for such work, but Nichols’ film uses the best tropes of the genre to tell a new story that feels richly lived in and very satisfying.
Featuring his frequent leading man, Michael Shannon, “Midnight Special” evokes classic sci-fi features like “Starman” and “Close Encounters,” all mixed up with road outings and an added dash of supernatural mystery. Shannon plays devoted dad Roy, who has recently liberated his gifted son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) from a religious cult that’s built its beliefs around his very special powers. The pair go on the road with an old friend (Joel Edgerton) and Alton’s mom (Kirsten Dunst), in an attempt to reach a very special destination and, oh yeah, escape the scads of government officials that are after them. It’s tense, taunt, emotional and, for Nichols, very personal.
In our exclusive new video, Nichols shares – via his own written words – the emotions that compelled him to make a movie that is, at its heart, about paternal love. It’s a moving look at both the film itself and the mindset of a very talented director, one who only gets better with each new project.
“Midnight Special” is in limited release tomorrow, March 18, with a theater expansion to follow. Watch our exclusive video above.