Sony Pictures Classics has acquired distribution rights in North America, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand to Jeff NicholsTake Shelter, an intense drama about an Ohio-residing nutbag dad (Michael Shannon, who else?) who’s become convinced that some kind of apocalypse is imminent and that he needs to protect his family, etc. Jessica Chastain (playing Shannon’s wife), Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon and Kathy Baker costar.

Michael Shannon in Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter.

The Tyler Davidson/Strange Matter Films productions is in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival. The Park City premiere is on Monday, 1.24. I have to be honest and say that I’m a little reluctant to watch Shannon play another wacko. The only way this film is going to work for me is if his premonition turns out to be true. I’m just being upfront.

This is some kind of bogus site but it has nice high resolution stills from the film.

“Curtis LaForche lives in a small town in Ohio with his wife, Samantha, and daughter, Hannah, a six-year-old deaf girl,” the synopsis reads. “When Curtis begins to have terrifying dreams, he keeps the visions to himself, channeling his anxiety into obsessively building a storm shelter in his backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behavior concerns and confounds those closest to him, but the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within his community can’t compare with Curtis’s privately held fear of what his dreams may truly signify.”

Chastain has seven films set for release this year, including starring roles in The Help with Emma Stone, The Debt with Helen Mirren (which I saw in Toronto — forget it), and Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life avec Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.

Are those clouds natural or CG’ed? Very nice work if it’s the latter.