Sunday, November 27, 2011

Take Shelter: Movie Review


Shelter in the face of insanity versus reality.

Curtis (Michael Shannon) is having bad dreams and hallucinations. He’s likely just going crazy, but if he is in fact having visions of the future end of the world, then he might as well “Take Shelter”. With Curtis’s dreams turning into nightmares turning into a possible reality, he needs to keep himself safe and his wife (Jessica Chastain) and their young, deaf daughter.2011

Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Screenplay by: Jeff Nichols

Starring: Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain

Curtis seems to falling under the influence of a slowly absorbing mental illness. He does try to diagnose himself and cure it, but instead of fighting it, he does whatever “it” tells him to. The film is a powerful, slowly absorbing piece of extreme reactions to an unidentified source. I fell into this trance where I couldn’t wait to see what the next scene would bring, even though it would rarely be any more revealing than the previous one.

The cleverness of “Take Shelter” is that it takes paths that you wouldn’t quite expect, unless, of course, you’re trying to figure out the most brilliant possible ending and directions it can take. For those of us in love with this creative dramatic thriller genre, it accomplishes what we’ve always wanted.

Here, Michael Shannon has taken on another role where he plays the insane one, but where he also might be the one who can really see what’s going on in the world. But it’s a subtle crazy, with more quiet fear rather than violence. It’s a powerful role, and “Take Shelter” is a powerful film that draws you in and keeps you sheltered as it and the world around burns new avenues.
Best of 2011


Melancholia (2011) - An end-of-the-world movie unlike any that has come before it.

Moon (2009) - Psychological science fiction meets character study.

Drive (2011) - Driving a slow and thoughtful character study into a full-on violent crime thriller.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) - Martha, Marcy May, and Marlene all caught between truth, sanity and madness.