Take Shelter Review

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Blue-collar worker Curtis LaForche (Shannon) lives with his wife Samantha (Chastain) and their young daughter in the suburbs of Ohio. A series of strange goings-on in the LaForche's home town seem to signify impending disaster. Curtis quickly starts stockpiling food but his paranoia soon frightens his family...


When an ordinary Joe (Michael Shannon) begins seeing dark, ominous signs and portents of catastrophe, he doesn’t know himself whether they presage an imminent natural disaster on a big scale or a personal mental breakdown. His dumbfounded, shrieking wife (Jessica Chastain again! and good again) berates him and his ‘friends’ turn vicious when he obsessively commences building an underground shelter to protect his family. Nichols’ intense drama is disturbing and unsettling, while Shannon, no stranger to nutters, delivers a tour de force as a man cracking up under the strains of normality. It’s overlong, and the realistic depiction of a working-class community falters in everyone’s failure to understand or sympathise with this man. But while you are praying for a really big storm to vindicate him, the palpable dread that builds is extraordinary.

Terrific. Michael Shannon delivers a fractured everyman who'll stay with you long after the final frame.