[critical] Take Shelter

Curtis LaForche leads a peaceful life with his wife and daughter when he becomes subject to violent nightmares. The threat of a tornado him. The apocalyptic visions invade little by little, her spirit. His unexplainable behavior undermines her marriage and causes the misunderstanding of his relatives. Nothing can defeat the terror that inhabits…

Author’s Note


Release Date : December 7, 2011

Directed by Jeff Nichols

Film american

With Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart

Duration : 1h56min


“Take Shelter” means ” shelter “. The synopsis, explicit, speaks of the ” apocalyptic visions “, a ” tornado “, and ” the terror “. The poster speaks for itself. A genre film ? And well not quite. Take Shelter borrows actually many elements to the films of disaster, and the viewer will not miss opportunities to jump in his seat. But Jeff Nichols, who is, however, that in his second film (the first, Shotgun Stories, was nominated on two occasions) sign here a hybrid, which the natural disaster only remains as a backdrop. The manoeuvre is a clever, rather rare, and highly successful.

Take Shelter is not playing on the card of the panic, multiplying the images of a population in a panic running in all directions. The danger is only in the head of one man, Curtis (Michael Shannon), whose mental health is decreasing. Jeff Nichols dissects wish the calm before the storm. And does it in through the theme of madness and its limits : where does it begin ? How to recognize it ? Our protagonist, fearing to know the same psychosis that once her mother even goes so far as to follow a therapy. The director scrutinizes a man at bay, leaving the viewer unable to distinguish between reality and fancy. The film thus remains focused on this man, father and husband above all, prey to the demons that it fails truly to appoint. At the heart of the plot, this is before any of the family of which he is a question, a theme dear to Jeff Nichols. Curtis LaForche dark slowly into isolation and paranoia pronounced, obsessivement driven by the desire to protect his own. A portrait of family-related began to take shape in the middle of a movie the scenario yet always consistent.

The climate threat remains pervasive, and the sounds involved in the discomfort, constant of which the viewer does not quite get rid of : the wind blows perpetually somewhere, and the thunder rumbled frequently. The weather, particularly unstable, plays with our nerves. To this is added images to the aesthetic is singularly neat, shuffling blithely dreams to the daily life of the characters. No doubt, Jeff Nichols does not deprive us with a full view, while maintaining a pace weighing rather than terrified.

Jeff Nichols dissects wish the calm before the storm.

However, the great delight remains in the game of actors. Michael Shannon provides us with a benefit to the best of his art, finding the perfect balance between vulnerability, psychosis, latent, and strength contained. Its robustness seems to crumble little by little, and it moves us as much as it frightens us. These sides, Jessica Chastain portrays a character of a beautiful sensitivity, blurring even further the codes of this film. Jeff Nichols manages to drag in the family a physical presence, heavy, that of the bunker which is compulsively Curtis LaForche. Is this the metaphor for an american society plagued by the economic crisis, a veritable sword of Damocles ? But this bunker is not also reminiscent of many other, real property, where pile up the canned goods in anticipation of end of the world. Again, reality or psychosis ? Take Shelter is his choice, we make our own.

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