I have a list of films ….. 2011’s best of the best according to the local newspaper….I’m putting their list to the test.
I started with The Tree of Life and could only manage to get half way through….I’ll try again later….with more coffee and renewed interest. It was beautiful but nothing caught me.
So the next up was Jeff Nichol’s Take Shelter.
This film is worth watching. Twice. I plan on watching it again this evening. I’m telling all of my friends about it. I didn’t expect to need a tissue, but if you have a couple handy….it’s better than using your sleeve. Don’t worry, this is no sob story drama but instead, the film provides raw insight into the world of fear….fear of one’s mind and the fear of what’s coming.
Here’s a review by Mike McCahill from Seven Magazine because I’m out of time and why not leave the film review writing to the writers?
The tall, wiry, reliably compelling actor Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) lands a plum role in Jeff Nichols’s Take Shelter as Curtis LaForche, an Ohioan construction worker suddenly plagued by apocalyptic visions. A practical man, Curtis’s instinct is not to reach out – his loving wife (Jessica Chastain) remains a helpless onlooker – but to retreat: first into himself, then into an abandoned storm shelter.
Crucially, Curtis is no loon. Even as he obsessively refashions the shelter, we gather he’s still well-adjusted enough to question why he’s been led to these extremes. Latent schizophrenia? Or is it some vague primal duty, as his family’s protector?
Part CGI-enhanced horror pic, part American art-movie, this film displays fascinatingly diverse influences. Nichols, a graduate of the Terrence Malick school, gives stupendous, screen-filling sky, but he also spots those niggling quotidian concerns – reddening budget sheets, layoffs – presently driving many on the ground to derangement. There’s clear metaphorical value in Curtis’s predicament, and the film hardly reassures us in forecasting worse weather to come.
Nichols and Shannon burrow further into the darkness, leading us to wonder how we’re ever going to emerge. That Take Shelter eventually finds an exit without short-changing either its scenario or its audience makes it one of 2011’s great cinematic achievements.