DVD: Take Shelter (15)
Friday 23 March 2012
Michael Shannon, the best thing about Revolutionary Road and sensational as Nelson van Alden in Boardwalk Empire, carries Jeff Nichols's unsettling drama on his broad shoulders.
He plays deeply troubled Curtis, who we first observe looking up at a menacing sky, nervously waiting for a storm to come. This blue-collar family man is suffering from savage dreams – in one, his dog rips off his hand; in another, lunatics abduct his deaf six-year-old daughter – and he's becoming increasingly paranoid and delusional. "Have you ever seen birds fly like that?" he anxiously asks his pal Dewart (Shea Whigham). Curtis becomes convinced that unknown forces are hell-bent on seizing his tolerant wife, Hannah (the ubiquitous Jessica Chastain), and daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart), so he gives away his beloved hound and starts pouring his money into building a tornado shelter for his family in the backyard.
It's clear that he is experiencing the same kind of schizophrenia that saw his mother (Kathy Baker) institutionalised many years before, so he sensibly seeks therapy and medication. However, in a country ravaged by an economic downturn, his employers are less than sympathetic and everything starts to unravel. Take Shelter is a perceptive examination of mental illness as well as a quietly angry look at unemployment, debt and stress in America. There is a storm coming...
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre