Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Quiet Calm for Strange Fate

A child who can pick up radio signals among other strange abilities is pursued by the FBI in 2016's Midnight Special. A nicely subdued piece of filmmaking that quietly portrays the reality experienced by the small family of the boy who find themselves forced to believe things the world considers crazy and the government considers dangerous.

Directed by Jeff Nichols, who made the nice, understated Take Shelter, Midnight Special follows the family as they've managed to flee in an SUV just as the FBI are descending on the cult-like compound where a religious group convenes around the boy. Michael Shannon, star of Take Shelter, plays Roy, the father of the boy, Lucas (Joel Edgerton), driving him to a prophesied time and place with a former stater trooper named Alton (Jaeden Lieberher).

The film is reminiscent of Close Encounters of the Third Kind or E.T. but without Steven Spielberg's penchant for giving all the characters amusing, very human eccentricities. The population of Midnight Special is grim, silent, and desperate. Only Lucas seems relatively relaxed, having that childlike confidence that everything will just work out because his parents are in charge.

Adam Driver gives the most interesting performance in the film, almost like he's stepped out of Close Encounters, as the FBI specialist investigating the child, barely able to conceal his sense of wonder as he gradually realises he's on the tail of something legit. Kirsten Dunst is in the film, doing a good job in a supporting role. Visually, the film's okay, especially if you like yellow and blue.

Twitter Sonnet #944

A trembling table takes a jelly bean.
In sighing ceilings sanctions sort the ghost.
A gondolier engaged a clearer mien.
As storms in steady brooks align the host.
Behind the pixel pieces fit the pen.
The incomplete internal grasp returned.
A lantern failed to light the silver men.
Appliance toys've lit their eyes in turn.
The early sneeze attends what wind is heard.
Attentive portions blank on pies unserved.
A calculation cedes the sleeping word.
The broken medal's moonlike silver curved.
A webbing fishing hook's no use for crab.
A clown's idea of weight can crush a cab.

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