Take Shelter Cast
: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, Kathy Baker Director
: Jeff Nichols Genre
: MRunning Time
: 121 minutesSynopsis
: Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) lives in a small Ohio town with his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and six-year-old daughter Hannah, who is deaf. Curtis makes a modest living as a crew chief for a sand mining company. Samantha is a stay-at-home mother and part-time seamstress who supplements their income by selling handmade wares at the flea market each weekend. Money is tight, and navigating Hannah's healthcare and special needs education is a constant struggle. Despite that, Curtis and Samantha are very much in love and their family is a happy one.
Then Curtis begins having terrifying dreams about an encroaching, apocalyptic storm. He chooses to keep the disturbance to himself, channeling his anxiety into the obsessive building of a storm shelter in their backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behavior concerns and confounds Samantha, and provokes intolerance among co-workers, friends and neighbors. But the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within the community doesn't compare to Curtis's privately held fear of what his dreams may truly signify.
Faced with the doomed proposition that his disturbing visions signal disaster of one kind or another, Curtis confides in Samantha, testing the power of their bond against the highest possible stakes.Release Date
: October 13th, 2011Website
Anxiety is born out of having something to lose.
When I began writing Take Shelter in the summer of 2008, I was in the middle of my first year of marriage. Although both my career and personal life were on a positive track, I had a nagging feeling that the world at large was heading for harder times. This free-floating anxiety was part economic, part just growing up, but it mainly came from the fact that I finally had things in my life that I didn't want to lose. All of these feelings filtered directly into the characters of this film.
Take Shelter follows Curtis LaForche, a working class husband and father, as he deals with the panic that arises from a series of terrifying dreams. For Curtis, these dreams are either harbingers of a supernatural storm, or early symptoms of something he's feared his entire life. Curtis' strongest, most immediate reaction is to protect his family, his wife Samantha and their six-year-old daughter Hannah. The question for Curtis becomes, what is he protecting them from, the storm or himself?
My first film, Shotgun Stories, was very much about locked-off shots. The tension was derived from a certain stillness. Take Shelter is about a storm rolling in. As a result, the shot construction reflects a gradual, unstoppable force slowly pressing in on our main character. The camera relentlessly closes in on Curtis.
Like Shotgun Stories, this film is also a play on genre. Where Shotgun Stories was a realignment of the revenge story, Take Shelter is an interpretation of a thriller. I wanted to blend elements of this genre into a dramatic film, letting spikes of genre moments marry with a more tempered style of storytelling. Ultimately though, the thing I want people to take away from this film, beyond a tense moment or scare, is the story of a family, and their ability to stay committed to each other in the face of potential disaster.
- Jeff Nichols