Archive for the ‘J. C. Chandor’ Category

An Honourable Man

A Most Violent Year

a most_violent_year

Director: J. C. Chandor

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac, Albert Brooks, Alessandro Nivola, Elizabeth Marvel, David Oyelowo, Christopher Abbott, Ben Rosenfeld, Elyes Gabel

Margin Call director J. C. Chandor directs Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Golden Globe nominee Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) in the atmospheric thriller A Most Violent Year about the corruption and double dealings in the trucking industry circa New York City 1981.

Chastain and Isaac play a hard core 80’s couple, Abel and Anna Morales who have mysteriously made a substantial sum of money through their transport business Standard Oil which Anna’s father helped set up. Abel is trying desperately to remain an honourable man in his business dealings despite the fact that his trucks seem to be constantly being hijacked on the New York freeways. At first Abel suspects a rival trucking billionaire who has links to the Mafia, Peter Forente beautifully played with a lithe sinister style by Alessandro Nivola (Coco Avant Chanel).

The title of the film refers to the statistics that 1981 was New York’s most violent year in the city’s history, with crime, corruption, hijacking as well as shootings and murders. Despite this, the film itself is not as violent as one would assume, but director J. C. Chandor maintains the pace and at times even leaves visual signifier that the film alludes to violence as opposed to showing actual violence.

A most_violent_year_ver2

This is especially evident in the scene when the Morales, driving on the way back from a late night dinner hit a deer and Anna, wonderfully played with a hardness by Chastain promptly gets out the car and shoots the animal dead, when her husband hesitates.

Oscar Isaac also reunites with Drive co-star Albert Brooks who plays the couples shady attorney Andrew Walsh. With a running time of 125 minutes, the second half of A Most Violent Year could have picked up the pace, the 1980’s crime thriller is held together tightly by the performances of Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, especially the latter who is superb as the hard edged wife who continually persuades her husband to fight violence with violence. Naturally this eventually occurs when Julian, an immigrant truck driver, played by Elyes Gabel goes missing and also another truck belonging to Standard Oil is stolen.

Audiences that like a sophisticated thriller with a more contextual character study will enjoy A Most Violent Year, but those expecting an action film should give it a miss.

The cast also includes David Oyelowo (The Paper Boy and Jack Reacher) as assistant DA Lawrence who is constantly threatening the Morales livelihood. A Most Violent Year is a fascinating film, layered with each textured shot  paying homage to film noir aimed at viewers that enjoy a more intricate narrative despite its nefarious title.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
July 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
  • Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry Still Struggles With Transformation
    DURBAN  — As the Durban Film Fest and its parallel industry program, the Durban FilmMart (DFM), unspooled this weekend in South Africa, a focus on issues facing women in the industry has dominated the program. “DFM is unapologetic about putting women on the agenda,” said producer Zoe Ramushu, who moderated a round table on transformation […]
    John Hopewell
  • SAG-AFTRA Board Approves Deals on Non-Primetime TV, Telemundo
    The SAG-AFTRA National Board has approved a tentative three-year agreement covering non-primetime work with the four major television networks. The board, which met Saturday, also approved a first-ever agreement with Telemundo Television Studios covering Spanish-language television performers. The non-primetime deal with the networks includes language limiting auditions in hotel rooms and private residences. Those limits […]
    Dave McNary
  • Sara Blecher’s ‘Mayfair’ Brings Feminine Gaze to Gangster Tale
    DURBAN — When we’re first introduced to computer whiz Zaid (Ronak Patani) in the opening scene of Sara Blecher’s “Mayfair,” he’s playing Robin Hood in an east African refugee camp—distributing sacks of food that have been left to rot in an aid group’s warehouse. That charitable impulse gets him canned, the first sign that an […]
    John Hopewell
  • African Finance Under Spotlight at Durban FilmMart  
    DURBAN — Financing African films has always required equal parts imagination and hustle, and as the global movie industry weathers its own seismic upheaval from new financing and distribution challenges, filmmakers on the continent are learning to adapt on the fly. That was the takeaway of a Durban FilmMart panel July 21, where Dayo Ogunyemi, […]
    John Hopewell
  • ‘Insecure’ Season 3 to Introduce New ‘Timely’ Show Within The Show
    After two years of making mistakes, best friends Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) will finally learn from their pasts in the new season of “Insecure.” Prentice Penny, who serves as executive producer and showrunner of the HBO series, reveals that the upcoming episodes will explore what it means to be an adult and […]
    Ariana Brockington