Plagued by a series of apocalyptic dreams, a young husband and father begins to act irrationally putting a strain on his marriage. However, it doesn’t compare to his private fear of what his dreams may truly signify.
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More than any other filmmaker, it is perhaps Jeff Nichols who has carried on the tradition of M. Night Shyamalan's early work - this is an earnest and quietly melancholy domestic drama with classic genre movie underpinnings. "Shelter" takes the template of a film like "Signs" and strips it down to its spiritual essence, delivering a bleak tone poem that peers into the terrified heart of post-9/11 America.
So far the best Noah's Ark adaptation. Michael Shannon is splendid as a man troubled by nightmares and madness, willing to save his family from a storm to come. The last half hour is nothing but unexpectedness, restless tension and beautiful catastrophic imagery.
This doesn't have nearly as much stopping power as "Shotgun Stories". Even though Shannon's performance was stressful and heart-breaking, the supporting cast were wonderful, the photography was perfect, and the music was great - there was just a little something off (and not the CGI bird attack). In the end, this is a devastating film about the modern world, mental health, and divination.
Few filmmakers have the capacity to be as observant and meticulous developing a psychological portrait than Jeff Nichols is when it comes to Curtis' slow, agonizing inner downfall and the excruciating toll it takes on his family as a whole. The storytelling is always fluid and masterful in setting the details properly without ever feeling sluggish or convoluted and finds in Michael Shannon a ferocious performer.
With a very slow and quiet first-half, this movie builds up tension and drama for its second part, which I found to be absolutely masterful! Shannon and Chastain are both amazing in their roles. The feeling of uncertainty that the movie leaves you with just turns the condition of the main character into something much more real and believable.
Stunning cinematography too! Never a storm coming could look so beautiful!
Before the ending, I felt that Take Shelter revolved around a man's inner fears and paranoid illusions, and the way it's told and envisioned in this film was remarkable. The ending, showing that the main character simply foresees a natural disaster is boring and a give-away for the audience. Really disappointing.
Wow. I didn't think you could so elegantly condense the contemporary American ethos into a single film, but, here you go. The American Dream vs. the American Nightmare: the self-reliant man, freedom, security, pastures, trucks, drilling, and yet, also, debt, protectionism, loss of liberty, and foreboding doom. It's all here. Outstanding.
A taught, tense, transfixing film, fraught with the threat of violence, whether committed by nature or the people closest to us, by societal breakdown or creeping insanity. Ample opportunities are given to interpret Curtis' visions -- and even the concluding apparent apocalypse -- in terms of either mental illness or socioeconomic allegory. We each see the doom we seek. A kind of Americana Melancholia. Curious times.