zaterdag 7 maart 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 35: Take Shelter

Director: Jeff Nichols
Genre: Thriller/ Drama
Runtime: 120 minutes
Year: 2011
Starring: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham, Katy Nixon, Natasha Randall, Ron Kennard, Scott Knisley, Robert Longstreet, Heather Caldwell, Sheila Hullihen, Kathy Baker

Description: Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, young husband and father Curtis (Michael Shannon) questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.

Review: Schizophrenia and other forms of mental illness are often a theme in movies. Many movie classics came from this theme, like “Fight Club”, “ A Beautiful Mind” and “Shutter Island”. In “Take Shelter” it’s actor Michael Shannon with that problem. But the movie is not a copy or similar to any of the three previously named movies. It has its own identity.
Curtis is a hard working husband to Sam and a loving father to their deaf daughter Hannah. When Curtis starts having dreams, that always start with a storm, he thinks it’s a premonition to something bad. To be prepared, he starts building a shelter. Everyone thinks Curtis is losing his mind.
There are many aspects that make “Take Shelter” an above average movie, but the biggest plus is the atmosphere. Especially in the first half of the film, when Curtis’ nightmares become more intense. You really feel that tension. Danger is continually present. With that, the acting is also great. Michael Shannon manages to convince us as Curtis. As a viewer you don’t know what to think of him, just like the people in the movie. Is he crazy or not? But also Sam, played by Jessica Chastain, does a wonderful job. Her frank kindness and het concern make her the most sympathetic character of the movie. The addition of the deaf daughter makes it all even more dramatic and the interaction between the parents and Hannah is beautiful.
For some people “Take Shelter” is a bit slow, the pace is very low. But it never bothered me. Even the second half of the film, where Curtis stars losing it, keeps compelling you. Maybe the climax isn’t fantastic, but the end scene is. Jeff Nichols, who is relatively new in Hollywood, delivers a very good film. “Take Shelter” is a beautiful movie.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

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