Friday, November 7, 2014

A Most Violent Year Plays Well at 2014 AFI Fest

As many of you know, I had high hopes for JC Chandor's latest A Most Violent Year. With a stunning cast including Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, and films of great quality Margin Call and All is Lost under his belt, it just felt like this film was going to succeed. Well, after last night's reactions coming from the opening of AFI Fest, it looks like Chandor has lived up to his promise and created a smart, dark crime thriller that (no surprise here) is chocked full of top notch performances. Unfortunately, Christopher Nolan has put an embargo on Jessica Chastain campaigning for A Most Violent Year (a little petty if you ask me), but that doesn't mean other people can't do the work for her. There is a bit of concern that it might be too dark for Oscar voters. And with the likes of Gone Girl already on the map, there might not be room for another dark crime thriller. But I also think it will get critical support, and enough praise, and get seen by enough people between now and its release date on Dec. 31st, to garner some attention. Below are some snippets (and links to the full articles) of some of the early reviews. Of course, we'll just have to wait and see...

Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter writes:

"Chandor's absorbing and troubling film asks these difficult questions and more against a backdrop of tacitly accepted corruption and street-level New York interaction rarely seen since the heyday of Sidney Lumet. The sense of widely shared assumptions about what's OK and what's not in business dealings is brought home powerfully, and the tension of the final stretch provokes a prolonged case of sweaty palms. The resolution is painful, a bit melodramatic, thematically apt and, for it all, feels just about right."

Full Review:

Xan Brooks at The Guardian writes:

"A Most Violent Year, fittingly enough, comes billed as the plucky outsider in the pending Oscar race, a film on a mission to unseat the big favourites. Like Morales, the odds are stacked against it. And yet, like Morales, JC Chandor’s period crime drama is rigorous, resourceful and as smart as a whip. It surely can’t win; it’s too nuanced and sombre. But its canny tactical struggle remains a joy to behold."

Full Review:

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