Dir. Jeff Nichols. 2011, 121 mins. With Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain. Writer-director Jeff Nichols’s second film features an astounding performance from Michael Shannon, who plays a loving and diligent blue-collar father and husband, Curtis LaFoche. Curtis begins experiencing nightmares of impending storms and struggles between hiding these visions from his wife (Jessica Chastain) and daughter, and completing the backyard typhoon shelter he feels compelled to construct. Curtis’s inner struggle takes a toll on his family and work life while the viewer wonders if Curtis is insane, prophetic, or just the latest to buckle under the pressures of recessionary anxieties. In A.O. Scott’s words, “[Nichols] has made a perfect allegory for a panicky time.”
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