Take ShelterFeature Film |
An intriguingly ambiguous tale of one man's apocalyptic vision.
Jeff Nichols follows up his laconic revenge drama, Shotgun Stories, with another compellingly low-key film starring Michael Shannon. Here Shannon plays Curtis LaForche, a decent, hardworking husband and father whose existence is upended when he begins having visions and dreams of a terrible toxic storm endangering his life with his wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain), and young, hearing-impaired daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart). As the dreams intensify, Curtis feels compelled to prepare for a cataclysmic event that may just be a symptom of the schizophrenia that claimed his mother (Kathy Baker). Take Shelter is the perfect vehicle for Shannon's quiet intensity, which often seems to border on derangement. The sky engulfs him in the frame, as though it were weighing down on him. It's a surprisingly subtle chiller, alternating the prosaic details of Shannon's home and work life, including his arduous preparations for the storm, with his increasingly terrifying visions, which take a physical toll. Take Shelter maintains a uniquely modest tone. Nichols cannily conflates Curtis's growing instability with the more mundane practical difficulties he faces in building up his storm shelter (cost of materials, risk of borrowing equipment from work, etc.). Nichols leaves the true nature of Curtis's visions ambiguous—even to the man himself—right until the end of the film, but there's a feeling of fear and loss that pervades the work that doesn't hinge on his prophecies coming true.
|Take Shelter Trailer|