I thought long and hard about the movie "Take Shelter" before writing this review. I waited for a few days because I just wasn't sure I liked it or not. Even now as I'm writing this blog I'm somewhat indecisive but here goes anyway.
"Take Shelter" is basically about a man who is tormented by his dreams and is moved to build a below ground shelter to save his family. His dreams are all centered around a coming storm and each one contains bits and pieces of that storm he believes will come.
Michael Shannon plays the lead and is perfect for this role because he was born to play characters who are slightly off kilter. His small role in "Revolutionary Road" is one of the great acting jobs you'll ever hope to see. In this movie his facial reactions and all around aura make him either believable or crazy. And you as the movie goer have to pick between the two as the movie unfolds.
Jessica Chastain plays Shannon's wife and what a year this has been for her. This is her fifth big part this year to go along with roles in "The Debt," "The Help," "Tree of Life," and "Texas Killing Fields." Chastain is again fantastic showing her love and sympathies for her husband, yet also showing her frustrations with his increasing odd behavior.
Almost from the beginning of the movie you want to fast forward to the end because you want to see is he crazy or does he have the gift to see the future of an impending huge storm?
I'm not going to give away the ending because that's like giving away the punch line to a joke but I will tell you that I personally was a bit disappointed. But you might not want to take my word since this movie for the most part was universally praised...the ending included.
My criticisms are at two hours long, "Take Shelter" moves at glacial speed, and the suspense is so muted that you want to scream..."Hurry up already!"
Shannon and Chastain are great, and the overall story is intriguing, but I can't say I loved this movie by any stretch. Endings to movies sway me one way or another, and this one swayed me downward, and thus I rate "Take Shelter" only a ground rule double - two stars.