|Jeff Nichols Director||previously directed Shotgun Stories|
A man begins having vivid dreams of an approaching apocalyptic storm. He begins building a storm shelter in his backyard, uncertain as to whether he is going crazy, or if his dreams are actually an ill omen.
2 More Quotes
I've been having these dreams, and they always start with some sort of storm.
|Michael Shannon||Curtis Laforche|
|Jessica Chastain||Samantha LaForche|
|Lisa Gay Hamilton||Kendra|
|Guy Van Swearingen||Myers|
|Stuart Greer||Army-Navy Dave|
|See Full Credits|
Take Shelter is a 2011 psychological thriller/human family drama film starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, directed by Jeff Nichols. Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) lives in small town Ohio with his wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain), and six year old- deaf daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart). When Curtis begins to have terrifying dreams, he keeps the visions to himself, channeling his anxiety into obsessively building a storm shelter in his backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behavior concerns and confounds those closest to him, but the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within his community can't compare with Curtis's privately held fear of what his dreams may truly signify.
From Jeff Nichols' director statement, he began writing the film in the summer of 2008, during his first year of marriage. "I had a nagging feeling that the world at large was heading for harder times. This free-floating anxiety was part economic, part just growing up, but it mainly came from the fact that I finally had things in my life that I didn't want to lose. All of these feelings filtered directly into the characters of this film." He concludes with, "It was an anxiety that was very real in my life, and I had the notion it was very real in the lives of other Americans as well as other people around the world. This film was a way for me to talk about that fear and that anxiety. I hope there is an answer to this feeling by the end of the film".
Michael Shannon had previously worked with Jeff Nichols on his previous film, Shotgun Stories. He was attracted to Take Shelter not only because they had a mutual understand but also they both were starting families and thinking about the next phase of their life.
Husband and father Curtis (Michael Shannon) looks up to the sky. It starts raining, Curtis rubs the rain between his fingers and it has the coloring of motor oil. Curtis just had a dream. He takes a shower, eats breakfast while having small talk with his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and signs to his deaf daughter Hannah (Tova Stewart) before he leaves. At the quarry, the sky is clear, as he works and discusses plans for later in the day with coworker Dewart (Shea Whigham). Samantha sews while chatting with her friends Nat (Katy Mixon) and Cammie (Natasha Randall). One of her friends notice something in the backyard and she runs out to her daughter. She takes the board and nail she is playing with away from her and throws it on a pile of debris.
Clouds appear and it begins to rain again. Samantha signs “storm” to Hannah. Curtis and his coworker Dewart drink beers after work at a bar; Dewart continues drinking as a passenger in Curtis’ car. Curtis drives to Dewart's house to drop him off, Dewart’s wife appears in their driveway and signals for Curtis to go home. At home, Curtis enters Hannah’s room quietly. Samantha discusses with him about the danger of the debris pile to Hannah. They wonder to each other why they still speak quietly around her.
Curtis has another nightmare. He’s cleaning the backyard while Hannah is with him, and a storm occurs. Red is barking furiously. The dog freaks out, breaks loose and bites Curtis’ arm. During breakfast, he looks at Hannah and then at the dog. Samantha warns Curtis that they have a strict timeline for that evening. During a meeting with Lewis (Scott Knisley), Russell (Ron Kennard) and his boss Jim (Robert Longstreet), he feels his arm. At the warehouse, he retrieves some supplies with Dewart. At the quarry, some machinery malfunctions. Curtis looks up at the sky and there is a strange formation of birds. Dewart starts operating the machine. At home, Curtis arrives late. Curtis apologizes and they go to school. The special ed teacher (Heather Caldwell) covers the syllabus with the parents, as well as some rudimentary signage.
Curtis experiences another nightmare. He’s driving with Hannah through a rainstorm and he runs suddenly into an obstruction; they get into an accident and Curtis hits his forehead on the steering wheel leaving it bleeding. A man and woman in the road approach the truck and kidnap Tova. He wakes up and has breakfast. Samantha observes how weathered he looks. Fearing the nightmare might happen, Curtis builds a dog pen in the backyard for Red to keep him sequestered outside. Mary sells some of her handmade goods at a bazaar and a bargain hunter (Marianna Alacchi) tries to talk her down on price.
While working in the backyard, Curtis manages to open the metal doors that lead to a storm shelter unattached to the house. Later that day, Samantha and Curtis argue the reasoning for why Red’s been locked into the outside dog pen. On the news, a news anchor (Jaque Jovic) reports there’s been a chlorine spill in Burkesville.
Curtis has another nightmare. This time, Hannah is looking out the window. There’s an intruder. And the next thing Curtis realizes, the whole house begins to lift up several feet into the air and begins to bounce. Samantha enters the room to wake him up and he’s terrified, as he’s urinated on himself. He asks her for the number to a doctor and then yells at her not to come any closer. When she’s gone, he washes the sheets and then takes Hannah to the Elyria Public Library. He peruses a book entitled, “Understanding Mental Illness.” Next, they shop for groceries. He arrives late to dinner to a displeased Samantha, as there are guests at the table: Melvin (Pete Ferry), Janine (Molly McGinnis), Kathryn (Angie Marino-Smith) and Sue (Isabelle Smith). They pray over their food, as Curtis and Hannah seat themselves. Curtis spends a great deal of time cleaning the shelter afterwards. Much later that night, Samantha sees a light coming through the shelter doors. Curtis is down there reading the books he checked out from the library.
At the medical facility, the nurse (Tina Stump) wakes Curtis up to see Doctor Shannan (Ken Strunk). At first, he isn’t able to communicate the severity of his situation. He insists on receiving medication and then explains the symptoms he’s been suffering for the last couple of days. He gets the prescription, as well as the number of a Columbus psychiatrist, and works with Dewart at the quarry. Samantha meets with an insurance agent (Maryanne Nagel) to get approval for Hannah’s implant procedure. Curtis retrieves his medications from a pharmacist (Hailee Dickens). He makes up with Samantha and she informs him of the insurance coverage development while pretending to use crayons as lipstick on herself and Curtis. Later, they get ready for bed planning their beach vacation.
Curtis takes the meds and wakes up the next morning. He is in a serene mood as he eats his breakfast, having not suffered any nightmares. At the quarry, Curtis and Dewart work on the truck. He hears thunder, but Dewart doesn’t. He trails off and vomits. Not being able to breathe, he drives off. He sees huge storage trailer bins for sale on the side of the road. He visits his mother Sarah (Kathy Baker) at an assisted visiting facility and shows her pictures of Hannah, also inquiring about her illness. While filling up his car at the gas station, he calls Dr. Shannon to inform him that Columbus is too long a distance for him to travel.
In the bedroom with Samantha, Curtis informs her of only some of his activities earlier that day and works on the budget. He goes to the bank to seek a loan from a skeptical Myers (Guy Van Swearingen), who is worried about the security of Curtis and his family. At the quarry, he apologizes to Dewart and then enlists his help, as well as his willingness to borrow company equipment. They eat lunch. Curtis has a session with a counselor named Kendra (Lisa Gay Hamilton). Initially, he wants to leave, thinking Kendra can’t help him, but she persuades him to stay and just talk. At school, while Curtis works with Hannah, Samantha talks to the teacher. They drive home and he pulls over to watch a fantastic electric storm while they sleep, speaking softly to himself, “Does anyone see this?”
Dewart works with Curtis on the shelter, using the machinery to dig large holes. Samantha is confused and walks out to the backyard to investigate with Hannah. Curtis approaches her and then she leaves. They argue later that night, because he never sought the loan with her approval, coupled with his odd behavior. Afterwards, he overdoses on his medication. He wakes up bleeding, having seizures. Samantha dials for medics; while having a seizure, he grabs the phone and tells him that it’s not necessary. They ambulance comes anyway. He apologizes to the EMT (William Alexander). In the kitchen, Curtis reaches out to Samantha and tries to explain what’s going on inside of his head by telling her about the dreams. He tells her about the last dream he’s had involving Dewart, who had a deformed face and attacked Curtis. “It’s hard to explain, because it’s not just a dream. It’s a feeling. I’m afraid something might be coming; something’s not right. I cannot describe it. I just need you to believe me.” At the hospital, Hannah has an MRI scan. The attendant (Joanna Tyler) explains it will take place in six weeks.
Curtis requests Jim to transfer Dewart from the project. His boss agrees, but points out Curtis absences from work. He works on lowering the storage trailers into the ground, while Samantha goes over the Lion’s Club dinner with Nat. She expresses concern about Curtis. He travels to the hardware store to purchase gas masks. Encouraged by Samantha, Curtis’ brother Kyle (Ray McKinnon) visits to see what’s going on with his younger sibling. Curtis ends up giving him the dog Red. They hug and then Curtis puts Hannah to bed.
Curtis has another dream. Samantha is soaked and she’s staring at him. A fly lands on a knife. Nothing else happens, the dream ends. At breakfast, Samantha reaches for Curtis and he pulls away. Jim, who has been informed of Curtis’ unauthorized use of company equipment, visits and fires him. In the dining room, Samantha slaps Curtis and leaves with Hannah. He goes to meet with Kendra, but she has transferred out of her internship having gotten into a program at OSU. A defeated Curtis can’t start all over again, so he leaves and goes back to work on the shelter.
Samantha collects money from a customer (Kim Hendrickson) who just bought one of her dresses. She opens her savings jar for their beach trip and makes note of the amount. She watches Curtis play with Hannah and then tucks her into bed. Curtis works on the shelter as fireflies dot the evening air. Samantha approaches and they discuss Curtis pulling away from her earlier that morning, as well as their future.
At the Lion’s Club dinner, Curtis serves himself and Hannah and notices Dewart glaring at him, as well as another man. Dewart confronts Curtis about the drama at work and attacks him; they get into a scuffle. After they separate, Curtis flips over a table and, fueled by his frustrations, delivers an angry tirade that no one's ready for this storm. He sounds like a mentally deranged man. Samantha reaches out for a broken Curtis and they embrace.
At home, Curtis works on a truck when Hannah walks into the middle of the road. There’s a storm brewing and the strange formation of birds appear. They end up rushing at and swooping by Curtis as he protects Hannah. They begin to fall from the sky plopping on the ground. Sirens ring and Samantha wakes Curtis up (it was another dream). They run to the shelter and shut themselves in, placing the gas masks on. Hannah’s is small and clear, while the adult masks are big, dark and intimidating. They fall asleep. Curtis is the first to wake up. He falls asleep again and Samantha reawakens him. Her mask, as well as Hannah’s are off, and she persuades Curtis to take off his. He inches up to the shelter opening and puts his ear to the door. He signs to Hannah if she can feel it. He doesn’t want to leave, but Samantha says that it is safe. He asks her to open the door, but she insists that it is he who must take the step to complete the task for his own good. He does so and sees the calm daylight.
Samantha and Curtis meet with the psychiatrist (Jeffrey Grover). At Myrtle Beach, Curtis and Hannah make sand castles while Samantha cooks. Hannah sees something and Samantha emerges from the hotel. Along with Curtis, they stare at the storm brewing above the ocean. The storm seems to consist of multiple tornados, it's an apocalyptic image. The rain comes down the consistency of motor oil. Curtis and Samantha nod to each other. They all see the apocalyptic storm. He says her name and she replies, “Okay”. The film ends.
Take Shelter was shot in 24 days between June and July 2010, in the small towns outside of Cleveland, Ohio in mostly Lorain County. Distributed by Sony Picture Classics. 35mm wide-screen format was used. "Director of photography Adam Stone does justice to the beautiful horizon lines of LaGrange Township," says Tyler Davidson, the producer.
Sophisticated computer f/x, by the Hollywood-based workshop Hydraulx (Strause Brothers), evoke the lead character's eerie visions. The audio mix was done at Skywalker Sound Lab at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in Northern California. Overall, the budget of the film has been stated to have been less than $5 million - $700,000 of which was spent in Ohio.
Take Shelter has received universal acclaim, with a 92% (out of 134 reviews) Rotten Tomatoes score, and a Metacritic score of 85/100 (33 reviews). About Michael Shannon, Bill Koodycounts of Arizona Republic writes: "Shannon is astounding, playing a good man pushed to the brink of sanity, maybe beyond. He portrays a sense of quiet desperation -- a feeling recognizable to many". About the atmosphere, David Denby of NY Times writes: "The movie makes you uncomfortable, but in a good way. Nichols has turned the current moment of American unease into a powerful metaphor". Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com says: " 'Take Shelter' may be the most powerful American film I've seen this year". Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun Times gives it 4/4 stars: "Here is a frightening thriller based not on special effects gimmicks but on a dread that seems quietly spreading in the land: that the good days are ending, and climate changes or other sinister forces will sweep away our safety".
At Cannes Film Festival 2011, Take Shelter won the Critics Week Grand Prize and SACD Best Feature. It also won Best Film at the Gijón International Film Festival. Jessica Chastain won Best Actress Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.
|review||Yes a 5. It deserves it. (5 out of 5)||NlGHTCRAWLER|
|review||Shifting Storms (4 out of 5)||freeteafilm|
|review||There's a Storm Comin'! (4 out of 5)||un_malpaso|
|review||Is anybody seeing this? (4 out of 5)||Vigilante|
|forum||Watch This Movie.||Walreese55|
|blog||The Last Ever Late UK Box Office Report: 25/11/11 - 27/11/11||jackanderson|
|review||A fantastic drama anchored by Shannon's Oscar worthy performance. (4 out of 5)||keith71_98|
|news||Dolphin Tale Dolphin Rapes its Way to First, None of This Week's Movies Matter, and Other Box Office News||Alex|
We don't have any info about Take Shelter's related movies. Help us fill it in!