|09.25.11||Alamo South Lamar||This Screening is part of event: FantasticFest 2011|
Michael Shannon plays an ohio husband and father to a deaf daughter who starts having nightmares of a coming apocalyptic storm. Heavy Last Wave influence here except it focuses more on whether or not he's going crazy than weird Gulpilil sightings.
This is another slow burn movie which usually doesn't work for me in this context, however the power emanating from the performances, the vivid strength of the nightmare scenes (really reminded me of Jacob's Ladder in a way (more toned down that that) that they start subtly yet grow to frightening surreal images), and the slow blossom of the score all work seamlessly together to create this contemplative view of the end of the world. The "is he crazy" question is never 100% answered, but the last scene is haunting in its simplicity. It's also a wonderful turn that the climax that builds in a storm shelter gives you a resolution, but then the film keeps going.
Man, Michael Shannon... Is there anyone better at quiet menace? He shows some gentleness with his daughter but so easily broadcasts the mounting anxiety of self-doubt coupled with forboding knowledge that his character bears. The Lyon's club dinner is a perfect explosion of performance for him. "YOU THINK I'M CRAZY!? THERE'S A STORM COMING!!!" so crazy in that moment...
And I should say it's perfectly counterbalanced by Jessica Chastain. You read her love on her face as she's forced to deal with all this stuff. So great.
So... yeah, this is really good.