Monday, July 9, 2012

Take Shelter

Take Shelter (2011)

Written and directed by Jeff Nichols

Stars: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Ray McKinnon, Robert Longstreet, LisaGay Hamilton, Katy Mixon and Kathy Baker

This is a movie that I heard nothing but good thing about when it was released last year. People were talking about the performances of Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. When I was scrolling through the On Demand movies, it was there. I figured that I had to see it to see what the fuss was about and I'm glad I did.

Taking place in Ohio suburbs, a construction worker, Curtis (Shannon) is happy with his life with his wife, Samantha (Chastain) and his hearing impaired daughter, Hannah (Stewart). Things change when Curtis beings to have terrible dreams about a great storm coming that will wipe off the town. As time goes on, Curtis sees physical manifestations of his dreams with storm clouds, lightning, thunder and flocks of birds forming strange patterns in the sky. He discovers a storm shelter in his backyard and decides to prepare for the possible end of days.

The first thing that stuck me about this movie was the naturalism that writer.director, Jeff Nichols has placed in his screenplay. I may have had a failing grade in freshman English, but I know when naturalism is the main thrust of the story. Instinctively, I could see that Curtis' mind was breaking down. He questions that he could have schizophrenia from his mother played by Kathy Baker, but it's unclear. What I took away from the movie is that there is a fighting going on in Curtis's mind and it looked like it was all consuming.

Michael Shannon was very good in these movie. I was surprised that he didn't get more love during awards season that the Spirit Awards. He went to places that I have never seen before. When he was in agony, I felt it with him. It was a haunting performance. In my opinion, Jessica Chastain was better in this film that she was in The Help where she got her Oscar nomination.

My Rating

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