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.
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.
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.
A masterful, unsettling film. To me it's like a modern version of Nicholas Ray's Bigger than Life: ostensibly about a protagonist suffering a mental breakdown, it's really a vivid evocation of the ills of contemporary 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.
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.
At first, it reminds somehow of "Poltergeist", then of "The Birds" or Mr. Night SHYAMALAN. Then the film digs and sinks deeper into obsession until the unexpected ending. SHANNON and CHASTAIN at the top. === Au début, on repense à "Poltergeist", ensuite à "The Birds" ou M. Night SHYAMALAN. Puis le film creuse et s'enfonce davantage ds l'obsession jusqu'au final inattendu. SHANNON et CHASTAIN au top.