Take Shelter

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Is Jessica Chastain the new Meryl Streep?

Jessica Chastain in Take Shelter

Some might say this is a bold comparison. But we happen to think Chastain is the best thing since sliced bread.  Or, should we say, since Sophie’s Choice.

You might know Chastain from her standout role in The Help. Here, she was loveable and convincing as an excitable blonde bombshell rejected by the society ladies of Jackson, Mississippi.

Or, you might know Chastain from her role in The Debt. Here, she was vivid and credible as Rachel, a serious, thickly-accented Mossad secret agent working in East Berlin during the 1960s.

In Take Shelter, Chastain again undergoes a complete transformation, this time playing a struggling housewife in present-day rural America.  And again, her performance is equally memorable and true-to-life.

Take Shelter finds Chastain’s character trying to hold her family together after her daughter loses her hearing and her husband starts acting – well, strange.  You can see the questions, and later, panic forming in her eyes: Why is her husband turning up late for everything? Why are his clothes saturated with sweat in the morning?  Why does he suddenly decide to make their family dog live outside?  Above all, why is he obsessed with building a storm shelter in their backyard?  It becomes apparent that her husband may be following in his mother’s footsteps and losing his sanity.

As the husband-in-question, Michael Shannon is equally impressive.  He perfects the complex role of a man who is aware of the unreliability of his instincts, but cannot help but following these instincts.  After all, what if his instincts turn out to be correct?

If you haven’t seen Chastain in action yet, now’s the time to check her out.  We’re pretty sure we’ll all be talking about her for years to come!

Take Shelter is our “You Gotta Check This Out” pick of the week!

What do you think???

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