Nearing Christmas, a man with a peculiar talent attempts to give his grieving wife the most precious gift of all.
“Stages of grief” have become a popular way of describing the numerous ways people navigate the loss of a loved one. But grieving is rarely unidirectional. Within moments of profound sadness, there can be instances of peace and even joy; flashes of happiness torn asunder when the reality of loss manifests again.
Steven Clark’s Midnight Clear beautifully captures the melancholic twists that the path of grieving often takes.
Married couple Steve and Bryn’s shared life seems ideal. When the script opens, they’re home together for the holiday. The house itself is cute; chock full of character and charm. Steve sips on champagne as he puts the finishing touches on a model village. He taps gently on the church steeple, the entire town lights up like a million dots of fairy dust. Magic. Or so it seems.
Bryn compliments her husband on the amazing dinner he prepared. Effortlessly, she clears the table and starts the dishwasher. As a favorite LP plays, the two embrace and affectionately reminisce about their first dance.
Continuing the late night celebration, Bryn and Steve take a walk together with their son to a nearby park. Steve leans back against the car – while mother and child play a game of hide and seek.
Basketball, tennis courts. See-saws and swings.
Bryn meanders around a jungle gym, searching. Another tug at her coat.
There you are!
She giggles and gives chase.
But the specter of grief haunts them all – and in very different ways.
Maybe Bryn and Steve don’t realize it (or perhaps they do), but the harmony of their picture perfect evening will soon come to an end. The reality of their loss will return full force, leaving audiences surprised… and deeply moved.
Are you a director with a preference for naked, true drama – yearning for a story with soul? Then give Midnight Clear a read. If you’ve got a poet’s touch, maybe you’re fated to shepherd it to the screen.
Budget: Low to Moderate. Several scenes, including one setting other than the home.
About the writer: Based in upstate, NY, Steven Clark is the writer of over 30 short scripts, several of which are under option, in pre-production, or have already been made into films. On A Clear Night, a family Christmas feature aimed at a Hallmark Channel-type audience, is currently in the works. Steven can be reached at Steamroller138 (a) gmail.
About the reviewer: Julia Cottle is a cultural anthropologist living in Chicago. She has worked for years as a university instructor and researcher for organizations committed to social justice. She always has loved to write, but only recently has discovered the joy of film and stage writing. She may be reached at: Cottle54321“AT”Gmail.
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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.