Take Shelter (2011) Poster

Take Shelter (2011)

  • Rate: 7.6/10 total 15,375 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 10 November 2011 (Croatia)
  • Runtime: USA:120 min
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Take Shelter (2011)


Take Shelter 2011tt1675192.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Take Shelter (2011)
  • Rate: 7.6/10 total 15,375 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 10 November 2011 (Croatia)
  • Runtime: USA:120 min
  • Filming Location: Elyria, Ohio, USA
  • Budget: $1,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $1,729,969(USA)(18 March 2012)
  • Director: Jeff Nichols
  • Stars: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain and Shea Whigham
  • Original Music By: David Wingo   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | SDDS
  • Plot Keyword: Storm | Storm Shelter | Illness | Dream | Tears

Writing Credits By:

  • Jeff Nichols (written by)

Known Trivia

    Plot: Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself. Full summary » |  »

    Story: Curtis, a father and husband, is starting to experience bad dreams and hallucinations. Assuming mental illness, he seeks medical help and counseling. However, fearing the worst, he starts building an elaborate and expensive storm shelter in their backyard. This storm shelter threatens to tear apart his family, threatens his sanity and his standing in the community, but he builds it to save his family's life.Written by napierslogs  


    Synopsis: A working-class husband and father questions whether his terrifying dreams of an apocalyptic storm signal something real to come or the onset of an inherited mental illness he’s feared his whole life.


    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Tyler Davidson known as producer
    • Kevin Flanigan known as co-executive producer
    • Sarah Green known as executive producer
    • Brian Kavanaugh-Jones known as executive producer
    • Christos V. Konstantakopoulos known as executive producer (as Christos Konstantakopoulos)
    • Sophia Lin known as producer
    • Chris Perot known as executive producer
    • Richard Rothfeld known as executive producer
    • Robert Ruggeri known as co-producer
    • Colin Strause known as executive producer
    • Greg Strause known as executive producer
    • Adam Wilkins known as co-producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Michael Shannon known as Curtis
    • Jessica Chastain known as Samantha
    • Tova Stewart known as Hannah
    • Shea Whigham known as Dewart
    • Katy Mixon known as Nat
    • Natasha Randall known as Cammie
    • Ron Kennard known as Russell
    • Scott Knisley known as Lewis
    • Robert Longstreet known as Jim
    • Heather Caldwell known as Special Ed Teacher
    • Sheila Hullihen known as Woman in Road
    • John Kloock known as Man in Road
    • Marianna Alacchi known as Bargain Hunter
    • Jacque Jovic known as News Anchor
    • Bob Maines known as Walter Jacobs
    • Charles Moore known as Man at Window
    • Pete Ferry known as Melvin
    • Molly McGinnis known as Janine
    • Angie Marino-Smith known as Kathryn
    • Isabelle Smith known as Sue
    • Tina Stump known as Nurse
    • Ken Strunk known as Doctor Shannan
    • Maryanne Nagel known as Insurance Agent
    • Hailee Dickens known as Pharmacist
    • Kathy Baker known as Sarah
    • Guy Van Swearingen known as Myers
    • LisaGay Hamilton known as Kendra
    • William Alexander known as EMT
    • Joanna Tyler known as Attendant
    • Stuart Greer known as Army-Navy Dave
    • Ray McKinnon known as Kyle
    • Jake Lockwood known as Andy
    • Kim Hendrickson known as Customer
    • Bart Flynn known as Dave
    • Nick Koesters known as Rich
    • Jeffrey Grover known as Psychiatrist
    • Qenny O.T. Vitosha known as Red the Dog (as Qenny OT Vitosha)
    • Jason Botsford known as Construction Worker (uncredited)
    • Luis Orozco known as Hardware Store Manager (uncredited)
    • Joe Zamora known as EMT by Ambulance (uncredited)



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Liz DuChez known as hair stylist assistant
    • Liz DuChez known as makeup artist assistant
    • Julia Lallas known as key hair stylist
    • Julia Lallas known as key makeup artist
    • Susan R. Prosser known as hair stylist assistant (as Sue Prosser)
    • Susan R. Prosser known as makeup artist assistant (as Sue Prosser)

    Art Department:

    • Jon Alexander known as carpenter
    • Jeremy Brauning known as art intern
    • Schuylar Dane Croom known as prop master (as Schuylar Groom)
    • J.T. Fraser known as set construction (as JT Fraser)
    • Robbie Fraser known as carpenter
    • Ben Haehn known as set dresser
    • Jason Johns known as carpenter
    • Juliana Johnson known as props intern
    • Carmen Navis known as on-set dresser
    • Chris Preneta known as set construction assistant
    • Janie Rauscher known as props intern
    • Jonathan Rudak known as leadman
    • Mike Shepley known as carpenter




    Production Companies:

    • Grove Hill Productions
    • Hydraulx
    • Strange Matter Films

    Other Companies:

    • AON/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services  production insurance
    • Arri CSC  camera package
    • Chameleon Chef  catering
    • DitlevFilms  end title design
    • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
    • G.L.W. Broadband  tv newscast
    • Hot Tracks Recording Studio  music engineering facility: strings
    • IndieClear  script clearance research
    • Indiepay  payroll services
    • Kodak  film stock
    • Mayor CPA Group  accounting services
    • Midwest Grip & Lighting  grip and electric equipment
    • Milan Records  soundtrack
    • Rosen Law Group  production legal
    • Skywalker Sound  post-production sound services
    • Stubbs Alderton & Markiles  securities legal
    • Stuck On On  post-production facilities


    • Ad Vitam Distribution (2012) (France) (theatrical)
    • Ares Film (2012) (Turkey) (theatrical)
    • Mongrel Media (2011) (Canada) (theatrical)
    • Odeon (2011) (Greece) (theatrical)
    • Presidio (2012) (Japan) (theatrical)
    • Sony Pictures Classics (2011) (Australia) (theatrical)
    • Sony Pictures Classics (2011) (Canada) (theatrical)
    • Sony Pictures Classics (2011) (New Zealand) (theatrical)
    • Sony Pictures Classics (2011) (USA) (theatrical)
    • Sony Pictures Releasing (2012) (Argentina) (theatrical)
    • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2011) (Germany) (all media)
    • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2011) (Switzerland) (all media)
    • Mongkol Major (2011) (Thailand) (all media)
    • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2012) (USA) (DVD)
    • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2012) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
    • Tanweer Films (2011) (India) (all media)



    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • Hydraulx (visual effects) (as [hy*drau"lx])

    Visual Effects by:

    • Curtis Augspurger known as visual effects lighting technician: [hy*drau"lx] (as Curtis Augsperger)
    • Jarrod Avalos known as camera tracking layout supervisor: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Dominik Bauch known as compositor: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Adam Briggs known as animator: dynamic effects, [hy*drau"lx]
    • T.J. Burke known as visual effects lighting technician: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Ed Chapman known as on-set plate supervisor: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Daniel Chavez known as visual effects producer: {hy*drau"lx]
    • Cameron Coombs known as compositor: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Hector de la Torre known as modeler: [hy*drau"lx] (as Hectore de la Torre)
    • Tamer Eldib known as modeler: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Nicholas Elwell known as visual effects coordinator: {hy*drau"lx]
    • Patrick Flannery known as visual effects reference photographer: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Chris Fregoso known as compositor: {hy*drau"lx]
    • Darrel Green known as visual effects resource manager: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Chris Haney known as pipeline supervisor: {hy*drau"lx]
    • Matt 'Chief' Hightower known as animator: dynamic effects, [hy*drau"lx] (as Matt Hightower)
    • Mike Hollingshead known as visual effects reference photographer: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Rob Hubbard known as animator: dynamic effects, [hy*drau"lx]
    • Eric Kohler known as visual effects coordinator: {hy*drau"lx]
    • Daniel Kruse known as cg supervisor: [Hy*drau"lx] (as Dan Kruse)
    • Bill Kunin known as compositor: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Erik LaPlant known as cg coordinator: {hy*drau"lx]
    • Sun Lee known as senior matte painter: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Erik Liles known as compositor: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Russell Lloyd II known as animator: dynamic effects, [hy*drau"lx] (as Russell Lloyd)
    • Michael Meagher known as visual effects executive producer: [hy*drau"lx] (as Tony Meagher)
    • David Michaels known as character rigger: {hy*drau"lx]
    • Pablo Osky Ramos known as visual effects lighting technician: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Satoshi Ozeki known as compositor: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Eugene Paluso known as camera tracking layout: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Bruno Parenti known as compositor: [hy*drau"lx]
    • John Polyson known as smoke operator: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Scott Rader known as compositor: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Krystal Sae Eua known as modeler: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Greg Souers known as lead compositor: {hy*drau"lx]
    • Dave Strause known as technical support: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Linda Strause known as visual effects finance manager: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Alexander Tirasongkran known as camera tracking layout: [hy*drau"lx] (as Alex Tirasongkran)
    • Chris Wells known as visual effects supervisor
    • Derek Winslow known as matte painter: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Steven D. Wolff known as compositor: [hy*drau"lx] (as Steve Wolff)
    • Loeng Wong-Savun known as lead compositor: {hy*drau"lx] (as Loeng Wong Savun)
    • Michael Zavala known as 2d coordinator: [hy*drau"lx]
    • Josh Elmore known as model/texture artist: Hydraulx (uncredited)
    • Atsushi Imamura known as model/texture artist: Hydraulx (uncredited)
    • Brian Janelli known as model/texture artist (uncredited)
    • Scott Michelson known as visual effects executive producer (uncredited)
    • Chun Seong Ng known as model/texture artist: Hydraulx (uncredited)
    • Van Ouk known as modeler: Hydraulx (uncredited)
    • Pablovsky Ramos-Nieves known as digital lighter: Hydraulx (uncredited)
    • Tim Simon known as modeler (uncredited)
    • Josh Sutherland known as visual effects editor: Hydraulx (uncredited)

    Release Date:

    • USA 24 January 2011 (Sundance Film Festival)
    • France 15 May 2011 (Cannes Film Festival)
    • France 3 September 2011 (Deauville American Film Festival)
    • France 9 September 2011 (L'Étrange Festival)
    • France 15 September 2011 (Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival)
    • Switzerland 22 September 2011 (Zurich Film Festival)
    • USA 30 September 2011 (limited)
    • Germany 1 October 2011 (Hamburg Film Festival)
    • Brazil 6 October 2011 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
    • Canada 14 October 2011 (limited)
    • France 15 October 2011 (Valenciennes Film Festival)
    • Mexico 16 October 2011 (Morelia International Film Festival)
    • France 30 October 2011 (Fantastique Semaine du Cinéma)
    • Croatia 10 November 2011
    • Slovenia 10 November 2011 (Ljubljana International Film Festival)
    • Spain 18 November 2011 (Gijón Film Festival)
    • Ireland 25 November 2011
    • UK 25 November 2011
    • Greece 15 December 2011
    • France 4 January 2012
    • Belgium 1 February 2012
    • Slovenia 1 February 2012
    • Argentina 9 February 2012
    • Israel 9 February 2012
    • Portugal 15 March 2012
    • Turkey 16 March 2012
    • Germany 22 March 2012
    • Japan 24 March 2012
    • Netherlands 5 April 2012
    • Russia 26 April 2012

    MPAA: Rated R for some language



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


    1. jadeitejewel from Australia
      29 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

      I'm going to try to be restrained in my praise of this film, but it'sgoing to be hard, because I think it's about as close to perfectfilm-making as I've ever seen. I generally only write reviews formovies I've really loved, or really hated, and this movie I reallyloved.

      This is a masterpiece.

      I don't know where to begin, really. Leaving the cinema, I felt asthough I'd had some kind of accident – a little as if I was in shock. Ihad a very strong physical reaction to this movie, in tandem with myemotional response, and in many scenes I felt my heart racing. This ispowerful material and has been delivered with great skill. The pacingis perfect, moving slowly and quietly toward not one but severalemotional climaxes, each greater than the last, allowing the audienceto enter Curtis' world and share his emotions. The cinematography wasbeautiful, elegant, and achingly frightening at times; the dialogue wasso real it hurt, and the soundtrack sinister and intense. MichaelShannon should win something for this role – he is Curtis completelyand it's a complex and deeply sympathetic portrayal of the confusion ofa good man, a complicated portrait of a man trying to BE a good man, inthe face of his own fear. From the very beginning, the atmosphere isunsettled, and some of the dream sequences are heart-stoppinglyfrightening. The story is multi-layered, working with ideas of family,mental illness, responsibility, fear, the current feeling ofthe-end-is-nigh that everyone senses – when Curtis said, 'Is anyoneseeing this?' I almost cried for him.

      I have thought very hard about this film since I saw it two days agoand I simply cannot fault anything about it, not one thing. I know I'mgoing to see it many times. It left me shaken and moved and I cannotwait to see more from this writer/director. Hands down the movie of thecentury, so far.

    2. emilysforster from United States
      29 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

      Fear is the driving force for most of humanity, whether we choose toadmit it or not. We fear financial distress, health problems, losingthe people we love, and even bad weather. Fear grips our ability tofunction properly, to mentally process right and wrong, and to keephold of the things we cherish most. Fear is the ring-leader in ourcircus of life. Take Shelter is an exposition of how fear can rule andruin our lives. In this film, Curtis, played by Michael Shannon,succumbs to his greatest fear of "the storm" that is coming. Curtisbegins dreaming of a horrific storm that not only takes his life butthe lives of those he loves. This storm is almost depicted as anend-times, natural disaster. Curtis' dream becomes all-consuming forhim as it starts impacting not only his sleep, but his life during theday. It is the fear of the dream becoming a reality that drives Curtisover the edge. Because of this, his job, finances, relationships, andmarriage are all affected. This film is so much more than just theaverage apocalyptic, fear-fest. Take Shelter also portrays thecommitment and faithfulness of marriage during a time of extreme doubtand confusion. It is beautifully portrayed how and why Samantha(Curtis' wife) stays so committed to her husband, even after he hasgiven her plenty of reasons to leave. In a culture where over 40% ofmarriages end in divorce, this film speaks profoundly against thatpercentage. It is a refreshing experience to see the storms of marriageovercome by the vow of commitment. This film could quite possibly stirup a new statistic…and I think that would do the world some good.

    3. szulc-adam from United Kingdom
      29 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

      Take Shelter could be easily renamed to something like Anxieties ofliving in the 21st Century Western Country. It showcases a rich palletof phobias, from fear of financial instability, job loss, to anxietyabout upcoming environmental apocalypse. Curtis (flawlessly played byMichael Shannon) begins having dreams and visions of bad thingshappening to him and his family and so he decides to build a hugeshelter in his backyard where they can all seek refuge in case any ofhis dreams were to come true. But following his instincts comes at aprice – he loses his job, takes out unstable loan from a bank anddestroys his deaf daughter's only chance to undergo a surgery torestore her hearing. The dreams drive Curtis into insanity as hemirrors his behaviour with what once happened to his mother, a victimof schizophrenia.

      The moment Curtis admits to himself and to others that he might begoing insane, the apocalypse does arrive and so everyone else is forcedto agree that something bad was on its way all along. Take Shelter is avery contemporary drama, which would not have been made, let's say, tenyears ago. The problems the film presents are mostly influenced by therecession, political divide in nowadays America and environmentalproblems caused by global warming. The director Jeff Nichols finds aperfect balance between building up the multitude of his maincharacter's anxieties and presenting Curtis's struggle in a believableway. He escapes preaching about the presented issues and makes the soleexistence of the problems uncertain up until the very last moment. Whatis most admirable though is that Nichols avoids religious aspects ofhis apocalypse and keeps it very close to life, making forces of naturethe most vengeful and destructive.

      Take Shelter was a rare jewel among the films presented at Sundance. Itwas beautifully executed (besides the outstanding performances from thecast, music and pictures are also note-worthy) and felt fresh andexciting.

    4. Anton29 from London, England
      29 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

      Take Shelter is an intelligent, thought provoking, nicely shot filmfeaturing an excellent performance by Michael Shannon (an Oscarnomination, surely?), who was also great in director Nichols'previous/first film, Shotgun Stories. The film explores the linebetween fear and paranoia, or objectivity and subjectivity, as it'sprotagonist – a blue-collar family man of few words – wrestles withapocalyptic dreams and visions of a strange, possibly supernaturalstorm, responding to them as best he can as both literal warnings ANDpossible signs of mental illness. The film has a brooding, at timesHitchcockian atmosphere and a very timely feel to it (think financialand environmental disasters). Set in a rural community, we have plentyof lovely wide shots of the land- and sky-scape (also a strong elementof Shotgun Stories) with some added CGI on the latter for thedream/visions. Shannon's performance constitutes at least 50% of thisfilms worth but the rest of the cast are good too. It's a slow moverand, at around two hours and fifteen minutes, perhaps a bit too long.My wife and I did have a few criticisms after watching it (at theSydney Film Festival), but I wouldn't want to discourage anyone fromseeing this film, which will no doubt be a hot topic and bring Nicholsdeserved recognition when it goes on general release (September 30 2011in US)

    5. Charlene Lydon from Ireland
      29 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

      From the opening moments of this dark, dreamy tale it is clear that we are in for something quite extraordinary. Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter begins with a nightmare and continues as such even after our protagonist Curtis LaForche wakes up.Curtis’s nightmare comes in the form of a storm. Ominous clouds roll towards him, black and imposing and spitting greasy, yellow rain. As Curtis panics and goes to get his daughter to safety, he is attacked by the beloved family dog and just as the dog is about to tear his arm off he wakes up. This opening sequence, indicative of the rest of the film, is terrifying, beautiful and full of awe at nature’s power. When Curtis wakes up, his arm hurts from where the dog attacked him in his dream but there is no wound. As a result, Curtis has come to distrust the loyal dog around his deaf daughter. When the dreams continue, and start to come in the form of hallucinations, Curtis must decide whether he is a prophet or a lunatic.There is a history of mental illness in Curtis’ family and he is terrified that he is starting to lose his grip on reality. However, he takes a “better safe than sorry” approach and begins to obsessively build a storm shelter so that he might keep his family safe if a storm does come.The bulk of the film looks at Curtis’ declining mental health. Is he slipping further into psychosis or is he driving himself insane with paranoia. His descent into madness is terrifying to watch and while the film never really quite decides whether he is a prophet or a madman it keeps its feet firmly planted in reality and never loses sight of the true intention of the film, to watch a man as he disintegrates.There is something very Cronenbergian about the crisis of masculinity going on in Take Shelter and the violent way in which it manifests itself. Curtis is a kind, loving husband and father but his paranoia, his fears for his family and his fears for his own sanity drive him to some very erratic behaviour that might have disastrous results for his family, storm or no storm. The relationship between Curtis and his wife and daughter is realistic and Jessica Chastain’s earthy beauty compliments the character’s strength, trust, intelligence and warmth just perfectly. As they struggle to keep their marriage together despite Curtis’s many misadventures, one can feel her shock that something that was once so strong could be taken from her so cruelly.Take Shelter is a beautiful film. It is a lyrical film and it is a poetic film. It is not necessarily a film that provides answers but it is not ever trying to riddle you. The script is tight, pitch-perfect and nicely paced suggesting that Jeff Nichols is as skilled as a writer as he is a director. Shot with unbelievable beauty by lenser Adam Stone, the film looks and feels profoundly alluring and is a pleasure to behold throughout. However, the real heart of the film film rests on the shoulders of one person, Michael Shannon, who is superb here as the desperate Curtis. He is cuddly enough to be sympathetic but giant enough to be terrifying. His performance is a towering achievement and, in my eyes, cements him as one of the most interesting actors working today. This is the kind of performance that rarely comes around. Awards season will be colourful for Michael Shannon if there is any justice in the world.Part family drama, part disaster movie, part psychological thriller and part horror, this truly unique film must be seen on the big screen if at all possible and I can only implore people to make the effort to go out and give this film your money. Take Shelter is a low-budget (not that you can tell) masterpiece that truly deserves your attention.- Charlene Lydon

    6. Terrell Howell (KnightsofNi11) from United States
      29 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

      It seems that art films come in all shapes and sizes these days. If youlook hard enough you'll find small independent art films within anygenre. Take Shelter is a film you will find amongst dramatic thrillers,and it is definitely one you should seek out. It stars Michael Shannonas Curtis, a middle class family man working on the pipeline in Ohio.He leads a capable life where he must cope with his monetary issues aswell as his deaf daughter. But he makes the most of it and lives a lifeof relative ease and compassion for his family. However, things becomecomplicated when he starts seeing apocalyptic visions of a terriblestorm he believes is on its way. The dreams and visions make his lifevery difficult and it becomes increasingly more stressful. Curtis mustfight a battle within himself as he tries to figure out if thesevisions are meaningful or if he is just going crazy, as well as withhis family and friends who become more disconnected from him as hissanity seems to deteriorate before their eyes. Take Shelter is aharrowing, dramatic, and slow building film that will surely amaze youonce it is all over.

      Take Shelter is a film that moves so slowly and builds so dramaticallythat one begins to wonder if we're every getting to the end. It's anincredibly quiet and sincerely somber film. We spend almost the entiremovie honing in on Michael Shannon's powerful facial expressions andthe deep thought going into the story. It progresses so slowly with abuild up that pushes its way through molasses.

      I'll admit that I was getting worried about this film not being as goodas I expected it to be. I was afraid it might not live up to myexpectations and that the payoff wouldn't be worth the crawling buildup. But one you reach the end you will be incredibly satisfied. Thepayoff is incredible. I couldn't have asked for a better ending. Itcould not have been executed more precisely. It plays to somethingbigger than what you could have ever expected from this fantastic film.Just as my mind began to slip away from Take Shelter it ended with sucha deep and deafening bang that my eyes flew open to realize theincredible film I had just sat through.

      Take Shelter might not look like much at first, but it turns out to bea tremendous film. It's smart, engaging, fascinating, and brutallysincere. This is a must see film for 2011. Depending on your attentionspan you may want to give up about an hour and a half in, but if youstick around for the end you will be very satisfied. I guarantee it.

    7. The-Driver92 from United States
      29 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

      Wow. This movie was powerful, and it was written, acted, directed, andedited to perfection. Easily one of the best films of 2011.

      Jessica Chastain is fantastic in this movie. Michael Shannon'sperformance is sublime, and his character is drawn perfectly. Everyyear, there are a handful of films that enter and leave theaters veryquietly, then pop up out of nowhere to appear all over critics'year-end lists. Take Shelter premiered last year at Sundance and ranthe festival circuit, picking up a handful of awards along the way,before opening in limited release back in September. Though it failedto make enough money to recoup its already modest $5 million budget,critics raved about the film and its central performance by MichaelShannon. Shannon plays Curtis LaForche, an Ohio family man who beginsdreaming about an apocalyptic storm. Deciding at first to keep thedreams to himself, Curtis pours all of his energy into building a stormshelter in his back yard; his obsession with the shelter eventuallystrains all the meaningful relationships in his life. A piece ofsubtle, nuanced filmmaking, I feel Michael Shannon's performance alonemade the film worth seeing, but the film itself is a perfect blend ofdrama and dread. It's a slow-burn psychological mind-bender that buildstension gradually, so it's not for everyone, but you can be sure you'llbe witnessing some top notch filmmaking if you watch it.

      I find it easy to reconcile both that he is becoming mentally ill, andthat he has some prophetic vision.

      A phenomenal film.

    8. Steve Pulaski from United States
      29 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

      Take Shelter is one of the most enriching and well made apocalypticfilms I've seen since The Book of Eli. Not only does the art directionperfectly and naturally blend itself with the story, but the subtle andremarkable work of Michael Shannon and the slow, but intricatedirecting by Jeff Nichols work wonders for the pacing and the finaloutcome.

      There's a grand difference between a story that takes forever todevelop for a reason, and a story that takes forever to develop justbecause. Take Shelter lets its characters work their way into becomingrecognizable human beings one step at a time. It's not one of thosefilms that begins to get interesting during the second half becauseeverything suddenly picks up. It's a film that starts out interestingbecause we are greeted with characters that have humanistic problems,and we are left contemplating the same characters who still occupyproblems. It's a genius anomaly of filmmaking, and it's taken withgreat care here.

      Another film that had that same sort of motto was Alexander Payne's TheDescendants. Again, it followed the idea of letting its charactersdevelop at a human-like pace before throwing in real climatic elements.Rarely do screenwriters want to create characters that slowly evolveinto almost real characters. Most are too busy to jump right into "thegood stuff." The story revolves around Curtis LaForche (Shannon), aOhio construction worker living with his wife (Chastain) and their deafdaughter. Their house is on a wide stretch of land below a vast chunkof open sky. Curtis begins having very surreal and haunting nightmaresabout a forthcoming storm that has dark, ominous clouds and loud,rip-roaring thunder. In each of his dreams, something hurts himphysically or mentally. In one, his own dog attacks him and he canalmost feel the pain upon waking up.

      Curtis seeks help from multiple doctors, while at the same time, he istrying to shield his dreams from his wife. Jessica Chastain, who hasplayed a supporting role in several films in 2011, is pitch perfect.It's typical for films to sort of blacklist family members that arevictim to a crisis caused by their spouse, son, etc. In Extremely Loudand Incredibly Close, the film completely missed its chance to giveSandra Bullock a fantastic performance as the mother. Instead theytraded it for more shots of Thomas Horn's autistic character runningaround aimlessly in New York. Chastain slowly evolves into a truecharacter, compliments of the screenplay. It's nice that the film triesto, not only formulate characters, but showcase their reaction andresponse to the main events as well.

      Michael Shannon is terrific. Simply terrific. He plays the role of adelusional man, unable to decipher dreams from reality very well. Heslowly goes insane, without ever being too comical, unbelievable, orover the top. Having a delusional character go over the top sometimesworks if you have a capable, sophisticated actor, take Nicolas Cage inVampire's Kiss, who will bring justice to the role. If Shannon tried togo the Nicolas Cage route in Take Shelter, the film would've derailedfaster than the storm coming in.

      Why Take Shelter works so unrealistically well is because it formssequences of forthcoming dread that can't be ignored. The art directionis some of the best I've seen this year, along with Another Earth (butthat didn't succeed in storytelling this well). It also workscoherently and wonderfully because Shannon is such a capable actor,always perfectly pulling off the tall, eerie man with pure force. I'llbe damned if Take Shelter wasn't the most unsettling movie experiencesin the last few years.

      Starring: Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. Directed by: JeffNichols.

    9. Movie_Muse_Reviews from IL, USA
      29 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

      When done right, few tales are more riveting than a person's descentinto madness. Alfred Hitchcock proved this time and time again and JeffNichols reinforces it in "Take Shelter," a film likely to have beenlauded by the master of suspense himself. Anchored by the performancesof Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, "Shelter" broods and festersbut ultimately thrives on the brink between buildup and utter chaos.

      Shannon, far from a household name but a favorite of cinephiles sincehis head-turning supporting role in "Revolutionary Road," stars asCurtis, a construction worker and father living in a rural town withhis wife, Sam (Chastain), and their young daughter, Hannah (TovaStewart). Their daughter has developed extreme hearing loss and Curtis'job provides them the benefits necessary to afford cochlear implants,but Curtis' recent slew of horrifically real nightmares seems to be thereal issue here.

      In his dreams, Curtis experiences premonitions of a near-apocalypticstorm that includes odd bird flight formations, motor-oil-like rain,and twisters, and appears to make everyone that shows up in his dreamseerily violent from his dog to complete strangers. The resultingparanoia and occasional physical side affects leads Curtis to seekmedical attention, but also to start renovating the storm cellar in hisbackyard should his visions come true.

      The question of whether Curtis is a prophet of sorts or just mentallydisturbed drives the film — not much else does. Nichols tells thisstory largely through a series of character snapshots depicting Curtisriding the ups and downs caused by these nightmares. A few key momentsboil the story to a point, namely a riveting scene when Curtis loses ita social luncheon, but the pensive script withholds from us straightthrough the end like a well-trained indie film.

      As we go deeper and deeper with Curtis — and eventually Samantha andCurtis' best friend/co-worker Dewart (Shea Whigham) — we do learn somekey details about Curtis' medical history that shed light on thesituation, but even in the midst of fact, Nichols never gives us thesatisfaction of arriving at any concrete conclusion about hispredicament.

      With the weight of an immensely introverted character dealing with amental struggle placed squarely on his shoulders, Shannon proves whyyou'll only see him with more and more frequency in the future. Hemakes sure we care about what happens to Curtis, but beyond that heslips back and forth between deserving sympathy and deservingskepticism. He is not simply some Jobian character to whom bad thingsare happening, and this makes his challenge all the more challengingfor the viewer. Credit as well to Nichols for crafting a protagonistfar from the norm.

      The winner of 2011′s most ubiquitous actress award, Chastain, gets themore alpha-type role instead. She's the good-hearted, open and lovingtype driven entirely by logic and unafraid of confrontation. Many willidentify more with Samantha as a result, which adds a layer ofcomplexity to the film to say the least.

      "Take Shelter" offers compelling character-driven suspense, though attimes it will try your patience. If you can chalk that up toquintessential indie filmmaking, then by all means do and enjoy thiscomplex and challenging character portrait all the more for it.However, the real thrill of this type of film is that at any moment thebottom might drop out on the entire story (aka the $%&+ might hit theproverbial tornado); the difference between liking that and loving itis accepting when it doesn't.

      ~Steven C

      Check out my site, moviemusereviews.com

    10. biglizardprods from NY
      29 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

      For 110 minutes "Take Shelter" is a gripping, dread inducing portraitof an average Joe going off the rails. At first there is a certainamount of ambiguity as to whether the main character's nightmares areapocalyptic premonitions or manifestations of creeping anxiety. Theplain-spoken naturalism of the script, direction and performances –especially Michael Shannon's believably unraveling lead — stack up onthe side of a mental breakdown. The details of his crack-up arepainfully accurate and he even has a family history of schizophrenia.

      Then, in the last few minutes, the movie becomes a highfalutin"Twilight Zone" episode, with one of those "gotcha" endings of the"It's a cookbook!" ilk. This would not be so bad if the buildup had notbeen so tonally different. As it is it's an utter betrayal ofeverything that preceded it and an insult to audiences' emotionalinvestment in the characters.

      "Take Shelter" is the latest and most egregious example of adistressing trend among filmmakers to take manifestly silly premisesand invest them with dour gravity. Nolan, Shymalan, and Singer are theavatars of this style. They try to turn comic book and supermarkettabloid subjects into Ibsen, sucking out the fun as they inflate theirstature. Rod Serling is surely rolling in his grave.

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