Michael Shannon has become an increasingly popular character actor in recent years. Following his turns in arthouse titles like Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - and an Oscar-nominated performance in Revolutionary Road - Shannon went on to snag bigger and better roles like that of Agent Alden on HBO's Boardwalk Empire and General Zod in Zack Snyder's upcoming Superman series reboot, Man of Steel.
Shannon is already earning serious awards buzz for his role in Take Shelter, an indie drama that went over well earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival - and, more recently, Fantastic Fest 2011.
Take Shelter tells the troubling tale of Curtis LaForche (Shannon), a blue-collar construction man from Ohio who - along with his loving wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain) - works hard to make a living and support his deaf daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart). However, when Curtis begins to experience dreams and visions of an approaching apocalyptic storm, he begins obsessively building a shelter to protect his family - much to their (and everyone else's) confusion. But is Curtis a contemporary Noah-figure, who alone possesses knowledge about the potential end of his world... or is he succumbing to the same madness that afflicted his mother?
Get a glimpse of that psychological drama by watching three clips from Take Shelter (via Yahoo! Movies) below:
Both Shannon and Chastain's careers are on the up-and-up - and, based on this footage from Take Shelter, it's easy to see why. The two possess quite the range, shifting from subtly expressive one moment to raging or screaming the next, without ever going over the top. All the same, Take Shelter is very much Shannon's show and in these clips he conveys a wider range of emotions and feelings (bewilderment, fear, reluctance, and sorrow) than other actors have throughout an entire film.
Take Shelter marks writer/director Jeff Nichols' sophomore directorial effort - not to mention, his second collaboration with Shannon after the 2007 film Shotgun Stories - and he clearly knows how to effectively use his leading man. It also helps that the gorgeously ominous imagery of a stormy sky riddled with almost otherworldly lightning - or Curtis' sinister nightmares about his impending doom - are appropriately unnerving and atmospheric in design. The film looks to have been fittingly shot and edited to create a sense of lingering dread about whether the end of the world is truly nigh... or if Curtis is merely anticipating his own personal apocalypse (re: going insane).
It's highly unlikely that Take Shelter will achieve the same box office success as last year's acclaimed psycho-horror drama, Black Swan - even though the former sounds like it might actually be the more admirably understated (and thematically, if perhaps not stylistically, substantial) of the two titles. On the other hand, Shannon and Chastain's increasing popularity could help draw in the moviegoing masses. We shall see...
Take Shelter officially opened in New York and LA theaters this past weekend. It is expected to slowly expand around the U.S. over the upcoming weeks, as the 2011 awards season gets fully underway.
Source: Yahoo! Movies