director Jeff Nichols
You know the saying that “just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you?”
Take Shelter is a bit more like “just because you’re a paranoid schizophrenic having hallucinations and dreams of doom, doesn’t mean that the world isn’t really coming to an end.”
Michael Shannon plays the working class dad who starts having nightmares that effect his beliefs, who doubts his sanity because his own mother flipped out big time when she was about his age and is a diagnosed schizophrenic. Sheenan has earned a lot of praise for his performance, which is good, though after seeing him in Werner Herzog’s My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009), I had already seen him play the local psycho. His wife is played by the very beautiful Jessica Chastain, who also appeared in the deep, bizarre The Tree of Life (2011).
It’s a thriller in which the unreliable depiction of reality is on a constant tipping point. Is he crazy or are his visions truly prescient? Is he going to flip out and kill his wife and daughter? It’s all very looming and ominous. The film received mixed to positive reviews and sounded intriguing. I even had recommendations from friends as well.
I wasn’t that engaged in it for whatever reason. It might have been me or my mood or whatever, but as it played out, I had no major complaints or points of criticism, but I just wasn’t that drawn into the story, the drama. I knew that the ending would reveal the “answer” so to speak and still, I wasn’t terribly compelled by it all. It just didn’t do it for me for whatever reason.