Take Shelter

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“A hallucinatory thriller anchored by a deeply resonant sense of unease.” — Justin Chang, Variety

Director: Jeff Nichols
Year: 2011
Country: USA
Running time: 123 mins
Censor Rating: M - offensive language, content that may disturb

Screenplay: Jeff Nichols
Producers: Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin
Photography: Adam Stone
Editor: Parke Gregg
Production designer: Chad Keith
Costume designer: Karen Malecki
Music: David Wingo


With: Michael Shannon (Curtis), Jessica Chastain (Samantha), Shea Whigham (Dewart), Katy Mixon (Nat), Ray McKinnon (Kyle), Lisa Gay Hamilton (Kendra), Robert Longstreet (Jim), Kathy Baker (Sarah), Tova Stewart (Hannah LaForche)

Festivals: Sundance, Cannes (Critics’ Week) 2011

Grand Prize (Critics’ Week), Cannes Film Festival 2011

Contemporary anxieties about terrorism, disease, climate change and economic collapse as portents of the end of days are brilliantly channelled into Jeff Nichols’ acclaimed psychological thriller. Michael Shannon plays Curtis, a mine supervisor in a small Ohio town, happily married to Samantha (The Tree of Life’s Jessica Chastain) and father to a deaf six-year-old daughter. From the startling moment when we first encounter him it’s clear that he is driven by terrible visions of a coming storm and is fearing for his sanity. — BG
“There’s possibly no more mesmerizing American actor working in any medium today than Michael Shannon. His talents are put to exceptional use in writer-director Jeff Nichols’ devastating Take Shelter… His characterization grips like a vice as he shifts from softness to menace, stillness to panic, incomprehension to crazed, purposeful illumination.
…[This] picture is a masterfully controlled piece of work on every level – from its precise modulation of mood to its piercing emotional accuracy, its impeccable craftsmanship and breathtaking imagery. Rarely have electrical storms, cloud formations and glowering skies had such an unnerving impact or expressed such dark visual poetry.
While at times it conjures suggestions of vintage Polanski-style paranoia in rural America, this haunting psychological thriller is also a quasi-horror movie firmly rooted in slice-of-life reality. An allegory for the troubles of the world bearing down on ordinary people in an age of natural, industrial and economic cataclysms, it taps into pervasive anxiety more acutely than any film since Todd Haynes’ Safe.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

View the trailer on Flicks.co.nz