I have avoided the hype and overly-bloated Batman v Superman to go and see the talented General Zod (cough Micheal Shannon) do Midnight Special. It was a toss up between this and Everybody Wants Some, the 80s college baseball movie. I feel as though I need to see Dazed and Confused first though for that.
Shannon here plays a father who is on the run early and trying to protect his son, as well as deliver him to a particular place at a particular time. Many are trying to stop him including authorities and a Texas sect, who looks at his son and his special powers as a God.
The story is sci-fi and thriller but really about people and relationships. Shannon is the protect-at-all costs parent who is engaged and focused completely on his son’s well-being. He can’t explain anything, but he supports and does all for his young son. The son struggles too, and goes on his own journey. He is played well here by the young man. Mom is played by Kirsten Dunst who has seemed to have disappeared since her days as Mary Jane. I won’t divulge much more than the bare facts other than to say that the ending is a bit much. It goes further than it needs to much in the same way that Man Up did before. We didn’t need to see a moment that borrows heavily from Close Encounters of the Third Kind meeting Tomorrowland (and that’s kind of like it felt). Shannon though is the real story here, and he is working on a more impressive line of roles that is the even of other good actors like Edward Norton, Daniel Day Lewis (well I am reaching more than a little bit there) but Ryan Gosling. In 99 Homes he was really good as well as paired with same director in Take Shelter.
I also watched on Nextflix Albert Nobbs from 2011. If you like Downton Abbey, then this film is right up your alley (so to speak). In fact a few of the characters come from Abbey, and are also British film mainstays – like Mr Weasley from Harry Potter fame. Glenn Close plays a butler/servant in a well to do hotel in Dublin, but is a woman in a man’s world. She is steadily saving for her dream opportunity – to run a shop. One day she meets a painter who changes her perspective on life and what is attainable. Close was nominated for this performance for an Oscar and a Golden Globe. She portrayed Nobbs on stage as well and it is a good role. Understated, the quiet loner who keeps to themselves and wants to quietly go about their business. The challenge of course is relationships where you have two people who are interacting (usually anyway) and this is something that Nobbs struggles with. Plans are made, assumptions are acted upon as if this idea has already sprouted roots and was shared. It is not. See the look of surprise on Nobbs’ face when he visits the painter later after the painter’s wife has passed from a nasty flu going around. There is real surprise when there is a realization about others and how they feel. Well worth viewing and I was glad that I saw it.