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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Take Shelter

Hamburg Film Critics’ Award

Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols, USA

 

A storm’s a comin… From the moment Take Shelter begins you know in your heart of hearts that something calamitous is going to happen. Curtis (Michael Shannon) is a towering, quiet-spoken man, a construction worker in rural Ohio. He has a loving wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and an adoring but hearing-impaired daughter Hannah. Still, life is good for the LaForche family. But one day Curtis begins having waking nightmares of coming storms raining oil. He observes flocks of birds making disturbing swirling patterns in the sky. At night he agonizes over apocalyptic nightmares of impeding disasters. Shaken, he secretly seeks medical advice, terrified he has inherited his mother’s schizophrenia. And yet, still fearing for his family’s safety he borrows money he cannot afford to turn a simple backyard tornado shelter into an elaborate bunker. Is this decent loving family man a prophet, or is he just plain mad? Though slow moving, Take Shelter had me mesmerized at every step in anticipation of an imminent catastrophe. More than just a disaster movie, it’s also a human drama portraying Samantha’s unwavering love for her husband when their Ohio neighbors shun him. Adam Stone‘s cinematography is stunningly disturbing though, in some scenes, I was a bit distracted from the plot, too aware of the wonders of modern computer technology. (PF)

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