Wow. That’s all I felt after watching Michael Shannon give one of the most hypnotic and commanding performances I’ve ever seen. In Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter, Shannon plays Curtis Laforche a father and husband who begins to have visions of an impending storm of epic proportions.
Curtis' life becomes consumed by his enigmatic visions, which are only exacerbated when he discovers a storm shelter in his backyard. Immediately he becomes obsessed in restoring it. Curtis’ wife, played to perfection by the stunning Jessica Chastain, gives a very quiet yet powerful performance. While it is in no way comparable, I was constantly reminded of Christopher Nolan’s Inception in that the audience is never fully sure if what they are seeing is real or not.
Take Shelter is a suspenseful and thrilling adventure that is reminiscent of a well put together Hitchcock production, with Shannon playing a Jimmy Stewart type leading man. Shannon deserves all the credit for the film’s outstanding end result as he is within sight for a good portion of the feature.
Take Shelter is that rare type of film that leaves you wanting more. Aside from the marvelous acting the setting of small town Ohio looks and feels authentic from beginning to end. The FX work was outstanding; the visions of storms and flocks of birds look almost too real as you find yourself consumed within the story. I wouldn’t be surprised if this indie darling racks up quite a collection of accomplishments come award season. I simply cannot recommend this film enough.