Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a husband and father wonders whether to shelter his family from a coming storm or from himself.
Sounds simple...It's not. The storm isn't just any storm...It's the 'end of the world' kind of storm. And the husband, Curtis LaForche, played by the very brilliant actor, Michael Shannon, thinks he may be going insane.
Curtis lives in a small Ohio town with his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and his six year old daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart) who is deaf.
Curtis makes a modest living as a crew chief for a sand-mining company. Samantha is a stay-at-home mom and part-time seamstress, who supplements her income by selling handmade wares at the local flea market. Money is tight and navigating Hannah's healthcare and special needs education is a struggle. But despite that, Curtis, Samantha and Hannah are one very happy family.
That is until Curtis, starts having terrifying dreams about an encroaching, apocalyptic storm filled with shadowy, scary figures and vicious beasts. In one of his dreams, Curtis's dog bites him. When he wakes up, Curtis can still feel the dog's teeth digging into his skin. And this is just the beginning.
Curtis's dreams grows more and more terrifying and in his waking state...so does his anxiety. He starts to think that maybe he's going crazy, just like his mother, Sarah (Kathy Baker) did years ago.
Faced with the propostion that his disturbing visions could signal a cataclysmic disaster, Curtis becomes obessed with protecting his family...no matter what the cost.
'Take Shelter' written and directed by the very talented, Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories) won the Grand Prix Critics Week & Fipresci Award and I totally understand why. This was one of the scariest, intense, and eeriest films I've seen in a very long time.
For me, the sign of a good movie is one that lingers with you. 'Take Shelter' is still lingering with me and I saw it over a week ago.
Once again the 'Two Jews On Film' are in agreement. (Or maybe I'm hallucinating) Check out our video to see how many bagels we gave 'Take Shelter'...It was a lot.
The film opens in theaters, Friday, September 30, 2011. Don't miss it.
By Joan Alperin Schwartz