After seeing Take Shelter, I really need to re-evaluate my Best of 2011 List. Everything about this movie is unbelievably high quality and features two of the best performances in movies this past year. Michael Shannon gives an amazing performance that is easily top 3 of last year and Jessica Chastain continues her incredible year after performing in The Help and The Tree of Life. For such a low budget movie this is packed with quality special effects and is also shot in a really high quality manner. This movie is a stark portrayal of mental illness and the movie really sucks you in to this one man's quest to find out what is wrong with himself and fix it.
Michael Shannon fully engrosses himself in this role and you believe that he is really going through this horrific ordeal. His performance is impeccable, for every moment of the movie you believe that he is this man experiencing schizophrenia. The way his character morphs over the course of the film is just incredible. He goes from being a loving family man to being this incredibly paranoid individual experiencing these overly vivid nightmare and visions. You see everything as he sees it and at points you don't know if it is mental illness or actual visions of an upcoming catastrophe. This movie could have easily been a disaster but Shannon's portrayal keeps the movie grounded and allows the movie to flourish.
This is an absolute must watch for movie fans. Every aspect of the movie is just fantastic and was easily one of the best movies of 2011. Shannon was robbed this award season and it is a disgrace that he was not nominated for any major awards. This is also a movie that needed to be nominated for every major award as well. It is sad that this move was criminally overlooked by everyone this award season. I hope this movie allows Shannon to do more and more larger scale roles because he has certainly paid his dues to this point in his career. This is a 10/10 and was one of the top 3 movies of 2011.