Oct 24, 2011

Take Shelter [2011]

Sunday was a beautiful, productive day for me and I love it!

I went and saw Take Shelter. Previous to that, I had heard many wonderful things about it and I was looking forward to catch it at the London Film Festival.

Let's start with the good things. Michael Shannon gives his best performance to date and one of the best of the year as Curtis, a 30-something working man who starts having hallucinations about an apocalyptic event. I loved the way he interpreted the part, the emotions, the insecurities and the crazyness he showed during those 2 hours. He is brilliant! Also a very pleasant surprise was Jessica Chastain, who is the revelation of the year for me- she's not just beautiful and talented, but possesses a great quality that just attracts you to her, a very old Hollywood vibe. I think she has a bright future ahead of her and I expect great things from her. Chastain won't get a nomination for her role (unless no other big names surge ahead), but I sure hope Shannon does- he truly deserves it!

Another big thumbs up for the script. I thought the idea was original and I liked the development of the movie, especially the line of actions that lead to the end; Jeff Nichols delivers both as a screenwriter and as a director.

Now it's time to cut some points off: it lost my attention numerous times during the screening. I always say that if a movie doesn't make you check your watch, then it is a good one or at least an interesting, worthwhile one. I did check my watch on this one and my mind started wondering what should I do after the movie. I am not saying it wasn't good, because it was, but it was lacking in some areas. It was like an EKG, who spikes at certain times, but usually stays in normal levels throughout the day.

The end was surprising and I think http://nevertooearlymoviepredictions.blogspot.com/2011/10/what-i-saw-take-shelter.html is a great article if you want to know more, especially his/her 3 options of what the ending was trying to say! Hope you don't mind I linked your website!

Overall, it was a good movie, but if I were you, I would see it on DVD or wait for it to be online!

Today is the last London Film Festival I will be checking out- Martha Marcy May Marlene- review tonight or tomorrow!


  1. Great review. I didn't find myself looking at my watch, but can see how the back and forth between crises and challenges could make you, especially if one of them seemed less convincing.

    Thanks for the link love. You've got a great site here!

  2. Thanks for dropping by! I'm glad you liked it! Have a nice day!

  3. I was incredibly tired when I fist saw the film and my mind did wander a little bit in the middle third. The drop off in pace, while the film explores some other fears - the breakdown of his relationship between him and his wife, his economic problems - was the key weakness for me. But the fact that it was still interesting and builds multiple avenues of his paranoia, and features a superb performance by Shannon (even better on a second view) got me through it. The end is a major head scratcher and I was puzzled for a while. Now I think I have my head around it haha.

    One of my best of 2011. I love the review by NeverTooEarlyMP - a fantastic analysis and some very interesting opinions about the ending, as you say!

  4. Thanks Andy! Yes, it had so many layers to it that it is hard to explain it in a review!
    It's so weird for me- sometimes I can understand, explain and analyze all of these actions (like I did with Revolutionary Road or others you have yet to see), and sometimes I just can't. Maybe it's the fact that I write them hours after I see them- that happened to Take Shelter. The review for RR was 5 minutes after I finished watching! I think I'll stick to the see and review method! :) Which one do you prefer? how do you write yours?

  5. I so want to see this film. Sadly not playing anywhere around here yet. Nice review, Have you seen Shannon on Boardwalk Empire?

  6. @Adam: I have seen him in Boardwalk Empire- I am curently halfway through season 1, and he is great,as expected!Thanks for dropping by!

  7. I usually try and write mine as soon as I can after the film - sit down for an hour or so and just write about anything that comes into my head. Then I add in a plot summary etc, give it structure and edit out things I don't need, or don't make sense. But sometimes - and this happens during festivals or if I see a screening weeks before the film is released, I don't review it until days later. This works sometimes because you have some days to think about the film, clarify bits you don't understand, and perhaps appreciate it more or less. I think this is the most effective way, but because I see so many films and try and post every day, I usually try and write it ASAP.

    With this film (and DRIVE which I have just watched again, and thought it was amazing - better than my review at MIFF suggests anyway) I re-read it a few months later and didn't like my review at all. Then I watched it again, and changed it slightly. I understood more on the second viewing. So, an initial review can change - and as I'm currently faced with two situations where I have a review posted that doesn't reflect my thoughts, I'm in a bit of a pickle. Anyway, everyone has their own system, but I think a mix of immediate thoughts and some reflection makes for a solid mix in a review!

  8. Thanks for the insider information :) I'm going to experiment more for the next posts to see what style I am most comfortable with!

  9. I liked the movie a little more than you (it more than held my attention throughout) but I really enjoyed your take on it.

    Shannon's best huh? That's so tough. I go with Revolutionary Road, Shotgun Stories (also by the Take Shelter director) and Take Shelter all vying for the top spot.

  10. Now, after one month after seeing it and letting it sink in, I can say I liked it a lot, but I still think some parts weren't that strong! Still, as you said, I think it was a very good movie- you don't neccessarly have to love a movie to know and admit it is a great movie! Did you see it recently?