Shelter, by Paul Bettany ( @paul_bettany ) from @Arrowfilmsvideo

The writing and directing debut by Paul Bettany (Gangster No1,) opens with us being introduced by Tahir (played by Anthony Mackie), an illegal immigrant in the USA who sleeps alone on the streets of New York City. When Tahirs belongings are ransacked, his quest to gain them back leads him to Hannah (played by Jennifer Connelly) who Tahir sees is wearing his coat. Thus begins one of recent cinemas most beautiful friendships as the pair basically survive in their existence.

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Shelter does many things to the viewer, it not only causes us to look upon people on the streets with a real third dimension, no longer just seeing them as beggers or vagrants, but reminding us that they are people who had houses, jobs, husbands and wives, but through a cruel twist of fate have somehow ended up losing everything. Shelter also gives us two brilliant performances, one from Anthony Mackie as Tahir, who very quickly gained so much sympathy with me, even though his back story isnt the friendliest in the world,. For those who have seen him only in the movies of Marvel, Id urge you to check out his performance in Shelter to see just how great a drama actor he is. The other stunning performance is from Jennifer Connelly who looks two steps away from death in the role of Hannah, and I can only hope that Jennifer dropped weight on purpose for the role, other wise the girl needs to get herself to hospital. From the woman who gave a fantastic performance in Darren Aronofskys Requiem For A Dream, I have to say that her performance in Shelter, beats it by a mile.

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I couldn’t end my thoughts on Shelter without telling you just how fantastic a job director Paul Bettany has done here. The film looks glorious.although the streets look unfriendly, cold, and lonely. Everything from the music, the editing, and….well everything about Shelter fits perfectly (although there is one small 30 second scene thats kinda of strange, but works well as a transition) For a man who has Shelter as his writing and directorial debut. Paul Bettany has set himself a high benchmark to equal for his next project.

Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly’s apartment was in front of a homeless couple that disappeared after Hurricane Sandy. The film is dedicated to them.

Shelter is released January 11 2016 from Arrow Films

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