Saturday Movie: Take Shelter (2011)

Curtis is a father, and a husband, and he will do anything to protect his family even if the impending doom he believes will happen only is occurring in his dreams. With a history of mental illness in his family though Curtis is unsure whether he is actually foreseeing a natural disaster, or if he is suffering from a mental breakdown. His wife Samantha tries to encourage her husband in the best way he can as he straddles the line of protecting his family, but also not losing them to his breakdown.

Up and coming director, Jeff Nichols, makes a compelling story out of something that seems like a not so compelling story. What helps this movie is a small town couple who seem to be dealing that we don’t often consider, but there is still the question of whether this disaster could be something that really is coming? This movie is intense at times, and other times you feel like you could know the family yourself, at least if you’re where I’m from.

Michael Shannon is only an actor I’ve become aware of this year. He seems to have a knack for it though. So far he seems to be slightly typecast in what I’ve watched him in though, which is this and Machine Gun Preacher. His acting was solid in this movie though. There is also Jessica Chastain who I’ve been noticing in a lot more movies this year. She is probably becoming one of my favorite actresses. She has a classic Hollywood vibe about her.

The director never gets carried away into making this a suspense though it does get intense at times. We never know the direction it will take. Will it turn into a thriller, or stay a family drama? I think he balances both quite well. I would have wished it was a tad shorter considering, but overall the build up was dramatic, and the ending will still shock you. Because of the shock alone I think the movie is worth watching. I don’t recommend watching this movie when you’re down though as it isn’t very uplifting.

Take Shelter is one of those films that didn’t get a lot of attention, but probably should have. With solid acting, and a captivating story I found myself staying till the end. I liked how relatable, and likable the characters were. You could understand all their frustrations and fears given the situation. I would like a little bit more a conclusion I think though despite the good twist.

Rating 4 of 5.

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