violentyear

A Most Violent Year is a slow burn of a film, primarily centered around a simple land deal that entrepreneur Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is trying to put together to sustain and grow his young oil business. Yet somehow, writer/director J.C. Chandor is able to up the stakes until they are almost unbearably tense. What hangs in the balance is not merely Morales’ business and the future of his family, but also his sense of self, his moral center. If you extrapolate it further, the film becomes and indictment of American capitalism, in the same way that films like Nightcrawler did in 2014.

With some beautiful cinematography from Bradford Young and some dynamite performances from the leads, A Most Violent Year manages to be haunting, wistful, and unforgettable. Hit the jump to see my full video review of the film.

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A Most Violent Year trailer

Jessica Chastain will be seen in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar in a few days, but that’s actually just one of two big premieres she has this week. The other is J.C. Chandor‘s A Most Violent Year, which makes its worldwide debut at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles on Thursday.

This one puts her with Oscar Isaac as a married couple struggling to grab ahold of the American dream in 1980s New York City. He’s an immigrant businessman, and she is his well-connected wife — who it seems may be even more of a schemer than he is. David Oyelowo, Albert Brooks, and Alessandro Nivola also star. Watch two new A Most Violent Year trailers after the jump.

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A Most Violent Year trailer

Just as summer always brings a rash of big-budget blockbuster sequels, fall and early winter reliably provide a crop of prestige dramas laden with Academy Award-nominated names. Among the many this year is A Most Violent Year, from Oscar nominee J.C. Chandor, two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, and actual Oscar / future Oscar nominee Oscar Isaac.

Isaac plays idealistic immigrant businessman Abel and Chastain his connected wife Anna. Together, they head a growing gas business in New York. But they runs into trouble when their company clashes with certain elements of the city’s criminal underworld. Watch the A Most Violent Year trailer after the jump.

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