Coming to theaters this Friday from writer/director Paul Bettany and Screen Media Films comes an intense tale of life from two points of view while looking for “Shelter.”
Hannah (Jennifer Connelly) is a heroine addict living on the streets of New York. Day-to-day survival is a way of life for this woman who a history. She runs into Tahir (Anthony Mackie) and their relationship doesn’t start out in the best of circumstances.
Full of anger Hannah tries to push people away but Tahir doesn’t move that easily. Ending up in a beautiful house — the two have a chance to drop their guards and talk about the lives they are living.
When Tahir becomes desperately ill, Hannah begins to think about someone other than herself. Now, she wants to bring joy into Tahir’s Loatian life and all that could mean for the both of them.
Time has other plans.
Connelly as Hannah is absolutely amazing in this role. Watching this character set so deep into her own fears wallow through it all right in front of the viewer is something to be hold. The addiction is beings hiding a pain and continues to keep the pain. She definitely grabbed my heart and attention.
Mackie as Tahir has his own life demons that seem to be in another direction yet the relationship with Hannah is perfect. Trying to right his own life-wrongs, Tahir has the added difficulty of an illness he can not afford to treat. Finding someone to share a few moments of happiness with, Mackie wants so much for Connelly’s character.
When the two mix it up more of their life story emerges and you can only scream so long as the truth can withstand a hurricane! These two characters give it their best shot and what comes out the other side is hauntingly beautiful.
Other cast include: Kevin Hoffman as Brendan, Steve Cirbus as Jerry, Alok Tewari as Abdul, Bruce Altman as Peter and Rob Morgan as Franklin.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Shelter” four tubs of popcorn out of five. This story is so brilliantly done and Jennifer Connelly absolutely shines as Hannah. Her range of emotion or even lack of emotion plays into every word she speaks. Mackie has a life-watch in his characters pocket and every moment that ticks away is heartbreaking to watch.
This is Bettany’s directorial debut and based his story on a homeless couple in his own neighborhood. Speaking with Jimmy Fallon about “Shelter” he says, “Last year in New York City where I’ve lived for the last fifteen years we past two milestones…60,000 New York City residents slept in the municipal shelter system every night, 24,000 of those people tonight will be children. For me that is shocking and for me this is all going on in a town with more billionaires than any other city on earth. Now there is this movie that’s trying to become part of the debate, part of the conversation.”
This film is wrenching to watch at times but the truth can be so — now it depends on what you do with that emotion that makes the difference. “Shelter” will have everyone who sees it talking for days and I hope that action follows. That’s just my personal wish.
In the end — finding home can be the most difficult journey of all.