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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Film No. 10 (2015) A Most Violent Year February 14th.

Film No. 10 (2015) February 10th.  10.25 AM LUNA Leederville. 


"My husband's an honorable man, we are not who you think we are."


A Most Violent Year

This film is not as violent as the colourful title would suggest. 
However, it is because of violence that the tense ending plays out the way it does, which goes a long way to explaining why the 30 days we have spent with Abel (Oscar Isaac) and Anna Morales(Jessica Chastain)  during 1981, a most violent year historically for New York, are so enthralling.

Abel is a highly moral man who conducts his fuel transport business in a highly competitive environment. He wants to expand and has plans to do so, this is when we meet him. He is buying property from an orthodox jewish family who set down their terms after receiving the agreed 40% deposit. In thirty days Morales needs to produce the balance and there will be no return of deposit if he fails to do so. The setbacks which confront Morales and his family as the pressure builds in those days are plentiful. Isaac is brilliant in the lead role as he  depicts a man under immense stress but with a dedication to doing what he knows is right.

The reality is, Abel may be too moral to legitimately survive in such an environment. We hope that the legitimacy with which he conducts his business wins through but the slow unveiling of  Anna's personality and background undermines this and gives Year the dimension it deserves. Anna and Abel's love for one another is unique and re-enforced  not just by the trust they share domestically but also by the bond they share in business. The slow burn atmosphere leading to some surprising twists makes for a thoughtful cinema experience.

Twelve months ago I reveiwed my favorite film of 2014, Inside Llewyn Davis. Isaac gave the character of Davis legitimacy because he could sing as well as act. A Most Violent Year marks his foray into being a leading man. The talented Chastain takes her brilliance in Zero Dark Thirty another step and to many, steals the show in Year. Either way they make great chemistry here, a chemistry which could well see other films being written to accommodate starring roles for both.  10GUMS.    

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris I was just wondering if the guy who bought oil stolen from Morales knew more than he admitted and that Morales was specifically targeted by his competitors otherwise what was the significance of the loaded gun left by the mugger and the bashing/kidnap of his sales assistant. Were these just red herrings? Always good to have questions to think about after film over . Michelle