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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Feb 20: Take Shelter


Feb 20: Take Shelter

"Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself."

   Take Shelter is a beautiful film about a man that feels that he's slowly losing control of his life and his sanity. Michael Shannon plays the man, Curtis, and his performance is one of the best I have seen in a very long time. It's a crime, no, a sin that he wasn't nominated for an Academy Award. His acting is on an entirely different level than so many others and he makes the movie. He is absolutely believable as a man losing his grip on reality and you feel for him through his intensity and dramatic unhinging. 

He's smiling now, but he'll act you into an empathetic mess of emotion.

  Take Shelter was filmed with an insanely small budget, and its in the subtleties and what we don't see that makes the film all the more effective. Glimpses into the man's dreams and hallucinations are terrifying, and we are the audience to a man's complete unraveling. There are no incredible special effects or explosions, and neither are necessary as the dread and fear of the storm itself does more than enough. Take Shelter is filmed simply, and it's the plainness and normalcy that the possibility of a storm destroying everything that's eerier. 


   Overall, Take Shelter is a perfect, low-budget, dramatic thriller that is insanely well acted and disturbing. The sense of dread that lingers throughout the entire film heightens the experience. The foreboding score, by David Wingo, adds so much to the film and helps build the story to a good climax. The ending may leave some unsatisfied, but the film is still strong enough for the first couple parts that nothing is ruined. 

The Good:
a flawless Michael Shannon
The Bad:
schizophrenia and the effects it has on one man and his family
The Ugly:
the dread and unsettling feeling you have throughout the film

Overall: 8.8/10

Best Quote:
Dewart: "You've got a good life, Curtis. I think that's the best compliment you can give a man; take a look at his life and say, 'That's good'."

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