Directed by Jeff Nichols. Starring Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Kathy Baker. 120 mins.
In cinemas now
MICHAEL SHANNON CAPTIVATES IN A TENSE, ATMOSPHERIC EXPLORATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS
“Dreadful.” It’s one of those words that has been simplified over time from an evocative expression into a slight, overused adjective. And yet “dreadful”, in its original form is the most accurate description of Jeff Nicols’ tense, beautifully constructed and deeply unsettling examination of family, mental illness and yes, the devastating, unshakeable effects of dread.
Leading man Michael Shannon proved a disconcerting but spellbinding presence in Revolutionary Road, and yet again he plays a disturbed man who’s still brave enough to say what no-one wants to hear. Curtis LaForche (Shannon) is a quiet, unassuming blue-collar worker living a simple but idyllic life with his beautiful wife (Jessica Chastain) and adoring daughter. But when Curtis begins having disturbing dreams about an impending storm, it’s unclear whether his visions are religious prophecies, manifestations of general anxiety or the first symptoms of the paranoid schizophrenia that plagued his mother.