Sunday, April 8, 2012

Take Shelter - DVD Review

Starring Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Kathy Baker, Ray McKinnon and Lisa Gay Hamilton.  Directed by Jeff Nichols.


Michael Shannon has always been an interesting actor to me. His blocky features tend to get him cast as weird characters (Bug, Revolutionary Road) but he's been able to carve out some memorable, complex performances in films like Shotgun Stories, and then this one.

Here he plays Curtis, a man who keeps having apocalyptic nightmares, and with each one, he starts to wonder if they're prophetic visions, if he and his family and his town are truly in danger.

This plays against the backdrop of the working poor, where he already struggles to make ends meet, but against the wishes of his wife (Jessica Chastain) he builds a storm shelter. As the movie progresses, we realize we're not watching a supernatural thriller, but rather a drama about a man who's losing his grip with reality as he descends into mental illness.

Shannon's tremendous here, one of those movies where an Oscar nomination would have been well-earned.

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