February 13, 2012

Take Shelter - 2011

Director: Jeff Nichols
Writer: Jeff Nichols
Starring: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain

Tormented by apocalyptic visions,  husband and father Curtis (Shannon) begins expanding the tornado shelter in his backyard to keep his family safe from the possibly impending storm.

This is the film that the awards season forgot. Screenplay, directing, acting...there's no fault I can find with it. Despite the grand scale the plot would imply, much of the film works because of the incredible subtlety put into the work by Nichols. Shannon always has tremendous intensity (he's the one part of the new Superman film I'm looking forward to), making him a perfect choice to play this character, and Chastain is  once again remarkable as his wife, often afraid of what's may or may not be going on in her husband's mind. While I won't say anything specific about this film's ending (the second-most discussed topic of 2011's indie film circuit after Shame), when I realized what was going on, it sent a chill down my spine. Few films are truly worth "all the awards," but this certainly belongs on that short list. A+

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