Tuesday, 14 October 2014

New look at Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year

The richly talented J.C. Chandor's latest feature film, A Most Violent Year, takes him back onto terra firma after the oceanic All Is Lost (2013), and back to Manhattan, the scene of his excellent debut Margin Call (2011). This one is set a few blocks from Wall Street's snake pits in the world of big oil, and A24 Films have released their latest still featuring the films protagonist Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) and his wife (Jessica Chastain) in action.

Unspooling a story that takes place during the summer of 1981 when the city's crime has risen to extreme levels, A Most Violent Year pitches its superb cast into a murky milieu that encompasses corruption, crime and murder. Isaac's (Inside Llewyn Davis) crude dude is an immigrant who has to navigate these perilous waters with all the canniness and savvy at his disposal. But the dangerous streets of the big city cause more and more problems, and Morales finds that his ethics are malleable as he fights to keep his company going with the aid of his equally tough wife, Anna (Jessica Chastain). As the year progresses, their tactics become less scrupulous and the authorities start to take an interest...

As Tony Montana showed us, for every great crime empire that starts out this way, another ends in a career limiting hail of bullets. The film's first teaser trailer doesn't give much away to suggest that Morales will fare the same, but don't bet on him being voted into high office either. Along for the ride in supporting roles are Albert Brooks (Drive), David Oyelowo (Jack Reacher), Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle) and Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full Of Grace).

The film makes its US bow on 31 December before a UK release on 23 January, a release that positions it right into the midst of awards season. Don't be surprised to see Chandor adding to his Margin Call Oscar acclaim with another Best Original Screenplay nomination.

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