Director Jeff Nichols Says ‘Midnight Special’ Was His ‘Least Well-Executed’ Film

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I really wanted to love "Midnight Special," but I just had to settle with liking its second half. Jeff Nichols is a director that I admire tremendously ("Shotgun Stories," "Take Shelter," "Mud" and "Loving") and "Midnight Special" had shades of the brilliant touches he brought to the his other four features, especially in its second half which was wildly imaginative. It was mix of Sci-Fi, road trip, mystery and many other genres, but it tripped on ts own ambitions as there were just too many scenes that felt out of place and unnecessary.

Nichols regular Michael Shannon showed up, so did Joel Edgarton and Kristen Dunst. It wanted to be Spielberg-ian, and the film is indeed very reminiscent of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and E.T, but those movies never had such abrupt stylistic and tonal change. Spielberg knew what he wanted to have on the big screen, Nichols, on the other hand,  seemed to struggle to find a cohesiveness to his narrative. 

It's a film that took its time to fully explain its scenario so maybe a second viewing in set for me in the near future, however it won't come any time soon if I go by what Nichols recently said about it. During a GQ director's roundtable he said "Midnight Special" was his "least well-executed" film:

"You have to kind of protect the health of who you are in order to do this work. All the press and money and all these things are kind of like a drug: You need more and more and more. It can open you up to a lesser side of yourself really quickly. Mud was a failure at Cannes. Nobody wanted to buy it. So the summer I wrote Midnight Special I was writing with a chip on my shoulder. And that turned out to be my least successful film and also probably my least well-executed. It’s because I allowed myself to be affected by the response. We’d be morons if we weren’t affected by it. But you somehow have to protect this thing that you are, or it can really hurt you. It can hurt the work."

What do you think of Midnight Special? Let us know in the comments below.