Shelter details

Details on “Shelter”, which wrapped yesterday in Pittsburgh:

Super scary ‘Shelter’ wrapping up here today
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
By Barbara Vancheri,

Leave it to the Swedes.

Bjorn Stein and Mans Marlind have found a civilized, common-sense way to make a movie: by co-directing it. They flip a coin to see who gets the first day and take turns from there.

They do all the pre-production and post-production together, but each directs every other day and serves as “best buddy” on the off days. That is how they’ve been making “Shelter,” with Julianne Moore as a psychiatrist and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a patient, in Pittsburgh.

The movie, also starring Jeffrey DeMunn, Frances Conroy, Nate Corddry and 9-year-old Brooklynn Proulx, is scheduled to finish shooting today outside Pittsburgh.

NALA Films, which financed and produced “In the Valley of Elah,” starring Oscar nominee Tommy Lee Jones, is making the movie, budgeted at $20 million to $25 million. It’s too soon to say when “Shelter” could land in theaters because it doesn’t have a distributor, but producers are hoping for early next year…

Now that production is almost over and co-director Stein has a handle on how it’s turning out, he calls it a “very intense, super-scary thriller” or a “drama that happens to be a horror movie.”

Details of the movie, written by Michael Cooney (“Identity”), are being kept under wraps, but this much is known: Moore plays psychiatrist Dr. Cara Jessup, who has made a career out of defying the notion of multiple personality disorders and providing such convincing courtroom testimony that many defendants have been sentenced to death.

Jessup is devoted to science but never lost faith in God, even after her husband was murdered. Her young daughter (Proulx) is a non-believer.

After a particularly troubling court case, Jessup’s psychiatrist father (DeMunn) introduces her to his new patient (Rhys Meyers). As Jessup explores his past, she starts to question her beliefs in science and God and finds her family in danger.

“Shelter” is wrapping at a propitious time as another Moore movie, Fernando Meirelles’ “Blindness,” is about to open the Cannes Film Festival and Rhys Meyers is making Showtime subscribers swoon over his King Henry VIII on “The Tudors.”…

On one recent day, Stein was best buddy, which allowed him to chat in the catering tent as a generous buffet was being readied for cast and crew, while Marlind was inside a makeshift soundstage with Moore, Rhys Meyers and DeMunn.

They were filming an intense, key scene at the beginning of the movie, which takes place inside what everyone cagily calls an “institution.”

The actors were working on a set that included a staidly decorated office and an attached observation room. DeMunn’s character was attempting to videotape the changeover in his patient from one personality to another.

Moore, who was at the top of the directors’ wish list, was targeted “because she’s the best female actress on the planet. She’s also a mother like the character, and she comes across as very smart … both as a person and usually the role she’s playing,” Stein said.

The directors were drawn to Rhys Meyers’ talent as well as his interesting face, including “those eyes that pierce right through you” and his ability to handle dialects. This movie will allow audiences to see him in yet another way, Stein says.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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