At this point, I don't want to see another frame of Midnight Special until I get to sit down in a theater and see the movie, because the two trailers they've released for it and the reviews out of Berlin have me convinced we're about to see something very special, no wordplay intended.
Little wonder. Jeff Nichols has been quietly building a great filmography, and Michael Shannon has been his consistent muse so far. I remember the feeling of seeing Shotgun Stories for the first time and being amazed by both Shannon and Nichols. This new trailer for Midnight Special feels both intimate and emotionally charged, something that we don't see nearly enough of in science-fiction these days.
The entire cast looks great, and it's interesting to see Adam Driver leaning into the genre between this and Star Wars. Not something I would have called based on his earlier work, but I like his energy, and it looks like a cast you'd put together for a straight character drama. There's a lot of early Carpenter/'70s Spielberg in this trailer, and if the film delivers on that promise, it's going to play right to my personal favorite kind of movie science-fiction.
This new trailer seems to give away more information and some of the structure of the film, but Nichols is one of those guys who brings much more than just plot to a film. I already feel like the connection between Shannon and the little boy who plays his son, and the figure of mystery at the heart of the film, is going to tear me up, but if the film as a whole works, it's good for science-fiction movies that aren't just giant effects-driven spectacle.
We'll find out very soon. Hopefully I'll be seeing this one at SXSW this year, just before it opens in limited release on March 18.