MICHAEL Shannon has possibly put himself in the frame for an Oscar with his immense performance as Curtis Laforche in Take Shelter.
Curtis is a man who seems to have a nice, comfortable and stable family life; the pretty and doting wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain), the cute daughter Hannah (Tova Stewart), the faithful dog and a nice house and steady job. Then one day he starts to have nightmares and visions which have a serious knock on effect. Shannon’s portrayal of a man who has difficulty at not being able to contain his fears induced by nightmares but who is also aware that he may be suffering from some kind of mental disorder is captivating as it is intense.
Jessica Chastain is once again cast as the demure and dutiful loving mother and wife as she was in Tree of Life. But Jeff Nichols direction and screenplay really offer Chastain a worthwhile contribution as Samantha whose pragmatic character is brought to the fore. Although she initially reacts as would be expected to Curtis’ increasingly erratic behaviour Samantha ‘gets’ what Curtis is going through. She is left to look after the needs and development of their deaf daughter and cope with her husband’s malady.
The quiet and slow burning nature of the movie allows Shannon to excel, expressing emotions that are palpable and electrifying at times. It is a high calibre complex, character study.
Take Shelter is a powerful, gripping and atmospheric movie.
Take Shelter is in cinemas from 25 November
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