Blu-ray Take Shelter (Blu-ray 15883605),
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An Ohio family man experiences a series of disturbing visions that gradually begin to weigh on his marriage and community when he begins obsessively constructing a heavily fortified storm shelter. Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) has a good life. He lives in a beautiful house with his loving wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain), and their deaf six-year-old daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart), but begins to sense that something ominous is on the horizon when the dark clouds of swelling storms begin invading his dreams. Taciturn, Curtis refuses to discuss the dreams with anyone, but feels compelled to dig out a massive storm shelter with the help of a good friend (Shea Whigham). Meanwhile, as Samantha grows increasingly concerned with Curtis' erratic behavior, the local rumor mill begins to churn. Are Curtis' dreams a prophetic omen of things to come, or is he perhaps headed down the same dark road as his mother, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when she was approximately the same age that he is now?
Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham, Kathy Baker
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "The drama of TAKE SHELTER resembles Todd Haynes' SAFE in its real-world fear and paranoia, but it's warmer, more poignant and more suspenseful than that 1995 psychodrama."
"Writer-director Jeff Nichols builds his elegantly shot, weather-sensitive horror story in waves of tension that crest as if pulled by tempests." -- Grade: A-
"Nichols is still concerned with family legacies, and the ways people in smaller communities relate to each other, but TAKE SHELTER is slower and smoother, deliberately developing a mood of creeping dread."
3 stars out of 4 -- "Nichols throws curveballs, but his film is unique and unforgettable."
4 stars out of 4 -- "Here is a frightening thriller based not on special effects gimmicks but on a dread that seems quietly spreading in the land..."
4 stars out of 4 -- "Taut, unsettling, haunting and powerful, TAKE SHELTER stars Michael Shannon in a shattering performance as a man caught up in forces beyond his control."
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] beguiling mix of Polanski-esque psychological terror and Loach-like social realism....Aided by the poetic, often Malick-esque visuals...it's a brave idea, boldly executed."
"[TAKE SHELTER] grows more convincing as it develops Curtis's predicament....It's a pleasure and a relief to see a film about the realities as well as the surrealities of the world..."
Sight and Sound
4 stars out of 5 -- "Jessica Chastain makes a more forceful, feisty mother than she did in Terrence Malick's THE TREE OF LIFE, while in the lead, Shannon is as riveting as ever."
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