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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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.
The ending is sure to set off debates, and I must confess that I'm not sure whether it makes a forceful and coherent point, or if it's just playing games. But this study of mania in the heartland may end up being the definitive American film of 2011: a time where everyone from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street recognizes that the system is broken and senses something apocalyptic in the air.
the movie of the moment. A dark, symbolic mapping of the last five years of a middle-class American experience that’s bursting at the mental and financial seams. I have yet to see a better artistic expression of our current existential crises. Michael Shannon is the Noah of our hour, plagued with calamitous visions and barely bearing up under the weight of constant anxiety. Essential viewing for our times.
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.
It's a disaster film that takes the emphasis off the disaster and off spectacle . The film is about the wavelengths people are on and breakdowns in communication by way breaking down psychologically. Oddly enough the love between the family members is what's at the heart of the film. The deaf daughters love for her father is hardly shaken because comprehends outside of superficial forms of communication. Must see.
Jeff Nichols' impressive TAKE SHELTER is a return to the "folky American" filmmaking tradition of dramaturgy and formal rigor over emotional manipulation. Above all, it emphasizes the importance of the family unit as the key to personal salvation.