Take Shelter

Take Shelter

4.3 3
Director: Jeff Nichols

Cast: Jeff Nichols, Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart

     
 

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An Ohio family man experiences a series of disturbing visions that gradually begin to weigh on his marriage and community when he begins obsessively constructing a heavily fortified storm shelter. Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) has a good life. He lives in a beautiful house with his loving wife, Samantha (…  See more details below

Overview

An Ohio family man experiences a series of disturbing visions that gradually begin to weigh on his marriage and community when he begins obsessively constructing a heavily fortified storm shelter. Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) has a good life. He lives in a beautiful house with his loving wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain), and their deaf six-year-old daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart), but begins to sense that something ominous is on the horizon when the dark clouds of swelling storms begin invading his dreams. Taciturn, Curtis refuses to discuss the dreams with anyone, but feels compelled to dig out a massive storm shelter with the help of a good friend (Shea Whigham). Meanwhile, as Samantha grows increasingly concerned with Curtis' erratic behavior, the local rumor mill begins to churn. Are Curtis' dreams a prophetic omen of things to come, or is he perhaps headed down the same dark road as his mother, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when she was approximately the same age that he is now?

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Mental illness can be an incredibly difficult subject matter to portray in film; even if the screenplay is written with sincerity and a genuine sense of authenticity, a poor performance or misguided directorial choices can easily taint the whole endeavor. In Take Shelter, writer/director Jeff Nichols presents a sensitive and extraordinarily expressive profile of a hardworking family man contending with the slow onset of schizophrenia. With the talented Michael Shannon in the lead and a screenplay that allows the audience inside his character's head as his mental deterioration progresses, the viewer can't help but get emotionally involved. Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) has a good life. He lives in a beautiful house with his loving wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain), and their deaf six-year-old daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart), but he begins to sense that something ominous is on the horizon when the dark clouds of swelling storms begin invading his dreams. The taciturn Curtis refuses to discuss the dreams with anyone, but he feels compelled to dig out a massive storm shelter with the help of his good friend Dewart (Shea Whigham). Meanwhile, as Samantha grows increasingly concerned with Curtis' erratic behavior, the local rumor mill begins to churn. Are Curtis' dreams an omen of things to come, or is he perhaps headed down the same dark road as his mother, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when she was approximately the same age that he is now? With a filmography that reads like the inmate list at a small psych ward, Take Shelter star Shannon has excelled at portraying deeply disturbed characters in movies such as Bug and Revolutionary Road. Here, Shannon infuses Curtis LaForche's increasing instability with a sense of desperation that makes it impossible for the viewer not to sympathize as he becomes a pariah at his job, in his community, and -- most painfully of all -- in his own home. Curtis is a man whose body exists in the real world, while his mind is being sucked helplessly into a darker mirror image of reality where his loved ones have turned malevolent and Mother Nature has decided to strike back against mankind. Shannon's quietly intense performance conveys the anguish of such an agonizing experience in a way that never feels exploitive or overplayed. He's simply a man who seeks to protect his family, but can't realize that he may be the biggest threat of all. A powerful scene in which Curtis nervously visits his schizophrenic mother in an assisted-care facility not only says quite a bit about the protagonist's character -- he remains dutifully composed while his fate becomes frighteningly clear -- but also about writer Nichols' talent as a screenwriter who recognizes the power of minimalism. Meanwhile, as a director, Nichols creates such an intense aura of dread and impending apocalypse during the visions that when Curtis simply describes one that is not shown in the film, we shudder at the mental image it paints. Curtis' wife Samantha is without question the character in the film who bears the most of his mental breakdown, and actress Jessica Chastain beautifully conveys the conflicting fear, anger, and concern that goes along with watching her husband's painful deterioration. Likewise, rising actor Whigham continues his winning streak of colorful supporting characters; in films such as Machete and Barry Munday, Whigham has displayed a penchant for the cartoonish, but by toning it down in Take Shelter, the talented supporting player displays a flair for drama that has been conspicuously absent from many of his higher profile roles. Despite the surreal flourishes on display during Curtis' dreams and hallucinations, Take Shelter unfolds in a straightforward manner that is only betrayed in the film's final scene -- a tantalizingly abstract coda that seems to be more figurative than literal. And while some may question Nichols' decision to abruptly depart from his realistic approach so late in the game, the ending is intriguing more for what it doesn't show, rather than for what it does.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/14/2012
UPC:
0043396394971
Original Release:
2011
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:01:00
Sales rank:
25,654

Special Features

Deleted Scenes; Commentary with Jeff Nichols & Michael Shannon; Behind the Scenes of Take Shelter; Q&A with Michael Shannon & Shea Whigham

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Shannon Curtis,Curtis LaForche
Jessica Chastain Samantha
Tova Stewart Hannah
Shea Whigham Dewart
Kathy Baker Actor,Sarah
Katy Mixon Nat,Actor
Natasha Randall Cammie
Ron Kennard Russell
Scott Knisley Lewis
Robert Longstreet Jim
Heather Caldwell Special Ed Teacher
Ray McKinnon Actor,Kyle
Lisa Gay Hamilton Actor,Kendra
Sheila Hullihen Woman in Road
John Kloock Man in Road
Maryanna Alacchi Bargain Hunter
Jacque Jovic News Anchor
Bob Maines Walter Jacobs
Charles Moore Man at Window
Pete Ferry Melvin
Molly McGinnis Janine
Angie Marino-Smith Kathryn
Isabelle Smith Sue
Tina Stump Nurse
Ken Strunk Doctor Shannan
Maryann Nagel Insurance Agent
Hailee Dickens Pharmacist
Guy Van Swearingen Myers
William Alexander EMT
Joanna Tyler Attendant
Stuart Greer Army-Navy Dave
Jake Lockwood Andy
Kim Hendrickson Customer
Bart Flynn Dave
Nick Koesters Rich
Jeffrey Grover Psychiatrist

Technical Credits
Jeff Nichols Director,Screenwriter
Joshua Chase Sound/Sound Designer
David Wingo Score Composer
Tyler Davidson Producer
Will E. Files Sound/Sound Designer
Sarah Green Executive Producer
Parke Gregg Editor
Lyman Hardy Sound/Sound Designer
Timothy Johnson Asst. Director
Brian Kavanaugh-Jones Executive Producer
Chad Keith Production Designer
Jennifer Klide Art Director
Christos V. Konstantakopoulos Executive Producer
Sophia Lin Producer
Karen Malecki Costumes/Costume Designer,Editor
Chris Perot Executive Producer
Ryan Putz Sound Mixer
Richard Rothfeld Executive Producer
Robert Ruggeri Co-producer
Adam Stone Cinematographer
Greg Strause Executive Producer
Colin Strause Executive Producer
Adam Wilkins Co-producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Take Shelter
1. Scene 1 [6:43]
2. Scene 2 [8:02]
3. Scene 3 [6:14]
4. Scene 4 [8:06]
5. Scene 5 [6:23]
6. Scene 6 [7:39]
7. Scene 7 [5:53]
8. Scene 8 [8:15]
9. Scene 9 [4:45]
10. Scene 10 [7:06]
11. Scene 11 [8:46]
12. Scene 12 [5:37]
13. Scene 13 [1:18]
14. Scene 14 [9:17]
15. Scene 15 [8:25]
16. Scene 16 [8:11]

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Take Shelter 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
Michael Shannon delivers an outstanding performance as Curtis, a working class Midwesterner overcome by a disturbing, foreboding sense of impending doom in “Take Shelter,” a menacingly brilliant film in which every scene intensifies the mounting tension of Curtis’ life. As horrific dreams disturb Curtis, we witness his devoted wife Samantha (played, in another astounding performance, by Jessica Chastain, who seems to be cornering the market on suffering middle-class wife roles) desperately trying to maintain some sense of normality in their lives by selling her wares at a swap meet and taking care of their young deaf daughter. Curtis witnesses coming storms that only he seems to see. He begins exhibiting bizarre behavior that threatens his relationship with his wife, jeopardizes his job, and undermines his credibility in the community. Writer-director Jeff Nichols masterfully weaves a complex tale of one man’s apparent mental collapse and its consequences on those around him—but strong undercurrents of uncertainty permeate throughout this film. Is Curtis really losing his mind? Are his visions and dreams really omens of what is to come? Never before have I rooted so hard for a character’s sanity. The tension mounts to an almost unbearable climax—only to yield to a truly remarkable final scene. See this movie—it is a powerful and majestic work of cinematic art.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago