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By Bobby LePire | July 6, 2020

It certainly helps that his co-stars are also fantastic. Selle’s chemistry with Nicolette Sweeney as Gina is undeniable, as the push-pull of their relationship will be recognized as authentic to anyone with siblings. Sweeney walks a tightrope between the frustrations with her brother and genuine love and nails it. The audience buys that Gina does not believe her brother’s story but still wants what is best for Carl. It is trickier to sell that than it sounds, but she owns every scene she’s in.

As Marcus, Faleolo Alailima is a lot of fun. The trio feels like they’ve known each other a lifetime and have that familiar shorthand one does with such friends. Alailima’s comedic timing when ribbing Gina or Carl is excellent, and he’s also quite credible once the crazy begins in the third act.

Myrick’s directing is quite good. The cinematography ably captures the gorgeous vastness of the desert location, while still feeling like an actual documentary. More importantly, though, is his screenplay. The script keeps focus on Carl and his immediate circle and is filled with believable dialogue that adds gravity to the situation everyone finds themselves in. When Carl describes his experience, he clarifies that he cannot speak for everyone, just for himself and what his encounter was like. Little things like that help sell the character as not being crazy.

“…an engrossing and dramatic tale of encounters of the fifth kind.”

Another great back and forth comes when Carl is going through some books and papers about alien abductions, and the cameraman asks how long he has been collecting all these things. Carl states that he does not see himself as a collector and that those stacks upon stacks of material are for research purposes. Again, this adds a sense of level-headedness and realism to both the character and the film overall.

The music by Billy Corgan and Don Miggs truly brings Skyman to life. The score is mesmerizing, perfectly mirroring the emotions and action onscreen. One of the recurring themes is piano-heavy and simply beautiful to listen to. The composers evoke a sense of grandeur and awe into the intimate story of Carl, that really sells his experience and steadfast belief in what he saw and knows to be true. It is a rousing, wonderful score from two excellent artists that compliment the story perfectly.

Skyman has a few issues that prevent it from being an absolute masterpiece, but it is still an engrossing and dramatic tale of encounters of the fifth kind. The directing is good, the music is fantastic, and the acting is some of the best of the year to date. This is smart, dramatic sci-fi done right, flaws, and all.

Skyman (2020)

Directed and Written: Daniel Myrick

Starring: Michael Selle, Nicolette Sweeney, Faleolo Alailima, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

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"…while Skyman does not rewrite the rules of its subgenre, it is an excellent example of it..."

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