2 February 2015
JC Chandor’s ‘A Most Violent Year’
Abel’s fastidiousness and ambition gives Isaac a chance to reveal his considerable dramatic range, quite a different characterisation from those of Rydal in The Two Faces of January and (Inside) Llewyn Davis. Chastain, notable in Zero Dark Thirty, has a couple of good scenes but the film is primarily about Anna’s husband.
Chandor’s first feature, Margin Call, which he also wrote and directed, was primarily about investment banking at the time of the crash, Wall Street and New York providing the background. This film, his third, is down on the streets and audiences outside the US may not always appreciate the nuances of a scenario firmly embedded in a particular American city (even if they realise that in the US a DA has to run for office). By far the most helpful and informative review of A Most Violent Year which I have read was, perhaps not surprisingly, that in the New Yorker by their David Denby who has been a film reviewer in New York since the 1970s.
Chandor has now started on Deepwater Horizon, a story about the offshore drilling rig disaster in 2010 which had such dire consequences for the UK oil major, BP. It will be interesting to see what line he takes and consequently what British critics decide to make of it.