★★★★★ | A Most Violent Year

Ok, a film that’s set in 1980 (my era) and stars Oscar Isaac (W.E. and Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chasten (Interstellar and Zero Dark Thirty), along with some killer outfits and one hell of a story – who wouldn’t want to watch this?

The storyline follows Abel Morales (Isaac), an honest and hard working man, as his ethics collide with brutal violence at a time when New York is facing an unexpected and unprecedented spike in violent crime. Abel is building his business, following the American Dream, over-stretching himself in order to expand in what appears to be a sensible way.
Having borrowed heavily to fund this expansion, his business is hit by opportunistic thieves, and he finds himself taking matters into his own hands in order to protect his interests. Alongside this, his wife, from a very distinctly NY “family”, is itching to get in there and sort the matter out if her husband can’t!
While searching for those responsible for these crimes, he attracts the attention of an ambitious Assistant District Attorney (David Oyelowo – Interstellar and Selma) who is out to make a name for himself and needs a victim to do it.
This film has the look and feel of a classic thriller from the Serpico and Godfather era, the use of language and mannerisms are spot on. The colours and settings echo the early ’80s perfectly, with the costumes showcasing power dressing NY style. Chasten has some killer outfits and hair-dos and knows how to work ‘em!
With a strong supporting cast that includes Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle and Coco Before Chanel), Albert Brooks (Drive) and Elyes Gabel (World War Z and Spooks), this film showcases the underbelly of a city, pitting good men against what can seem impossible odds.
Director JC Chandor did an amazing job on this film and I for one was dumbfounded that it didn’t generate any interest at the major awards – showing how unfair these shindigs can be.
This is a perfect pizza and beer movie and a distinct 5 stars, I paid good money to see this first time round and wouldn’t hesitate to do so again.
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About the author: Chris Jones
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