15 items from 2014
Broad Green Pictures has bought all U.S. rights to Ramin Bahrani’s drama “99 Homes,” following screenings at the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals.
The recently launched distributor said it will release “99 Homes,” which stars Andrew Garfield, in the spring of 2015 and launch an Oscar campaign.
Story is set in Orlando, Florida, where a construction worker played by Garfield is evicted from his home by a real estate broker (Shannon), and forced to move his mother (Dern) and young son into a shabby motel. He then goes to work for the broker and must evict honest families from their homes.
Variety‘s Guy Lodge gave the film a strong review at Venice, calling it “engrossing.”
Broad Green’s upcoming slate includes “Learning to Drive, »
- Dave McNary
Update, 1:07 Pm: I am now being told that 99 Homes will not try for Oscars this year. Broad Green will release it next spring and try for Oscar season 2015.
Exclusive: One of the final marquee titles at the Toronto Film Festival is now spoken for, as the Ramin Bahrani-directed 99 Homes has been acquired by upstart Broad Green Pictures in a big $3 million deal for U.S. rights, with a P&A commitment. This is the latest new player in the indie distribution stratosphere that has made its statement by acquiring a high-profile Toronto film. I’m told that in the deal, international rights stay with Hyde Park, which financed the hot-button pic with ImageNation. While Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon have by all accounts turned in Oscar-caliber performances, the film will be released in the spring. CAA brokered the deal.
The film’s set in Orlando, where construction worker »
- Mike Fleming Jr
For more than a century, great artists, novelists and filmmakers have examined the question: What is the American Dream? Their stories of men and women rising from rags to riches, in means dignified and corrupt, have electrified audiences. The latest masterwork to explore that dream state (or the lack thereof) is Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes, a masterfully acted and searing look at a fractious time of modern American history: the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, which left both rich and poor out of their homes. However, in a world of enormous disparity between the ultra-rich and the paycheck-to-paycheck poor, a better question would be: Where is the American Dream?
Well, it is certainly not in Florida, where 99 Homes is set, a state where the prosperity of gated communities meets the grind of small-town poverty. Bahrani’s drama opens on a man lying dead in his bathroom, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. »
- Jordan Adler
If you’re a middle-class American with a mortgage and children, 99 Homes is a horror film, scarier than Halloween and Saw combined. The movie, which debuted in Venice and is looking for distribution at this week’s Toronto Film Festival, stars Andrew Garfield as Nash, a Florida construction worker circa 2006. Out of work and underwater on his mortgage during the housing meltdown, he’s evicted from his family home—along with his mother (Laura Dern) and young son (Noah Lomax). It’s the nightmare scenario: Police knock on the front door and give them two minutes to pack their essentials »
- Jeff Labrecque
With director Ramin Bahrani under the weather, the majority of the talking fell to 99 Homes' cast at its press conference at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
In Bahrani's upcoming drama, Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man, Never Let Me Go) plays Dennis Nash, an unemployed construction worker who is evicted from his house by a realtor-cum-axeman for the banks, Rick Carver ("Boardwalk Empire"'s Michael Shannon ). It isn't long before Nash is roped into Carver's unscrupulous business of foreclosing on the disenfranchised in the bleak hope of reclaiming his home for his own family.
Here are five things we learned at the press conference for 99 Homes:
Three years makes the difference, it seems. Bahrani initially had Garfield's character written as a thirty-year -old, but Garfield disagreed with the age. The Amazing Spider-man star believed a younger age of twenty-seven would better inform the construction worker's relationship with the older Carver, as »
- Sasha James
Last year, 12 Years a Slave clinched the Academy Award for Best Picture at the Toronto Film Festival. Well, that’s not actually true. In fact, you could argue that the Best Picture winner almost lost the statue at the festival. Steve McQueen’s harrowing instant classic was so instantly and universally anointed in Toronto that seeds were planted for an inevitable backlash to flower in the six months before the Oscar winner was finally announced. Ultimately, 12 Years’ biggest Oscar competition came from another Toronto film, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. Though both films premiered at Telluride and Venice, respectively, the awards »
- Jeff Labrecque
After its smash international World Premiere in Venice, director Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes — an absolutely riveting drama about the 2008 home foreclosure crisis — had its North American premiere here at the Telluride Film Festival, and it has set this place ablaze. Despite lots of interest, as there should be, from domestic distributors, Bahrani told me immediately after this morning’s screening that the financiers behind the film are waiting until its Toronto debut next week to finalize anything. Starring Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon in career-best performances, this movie is not only a no-brainer for a quick distribution deal, it could be the rare — here comes that five letter word you hate so much, studios — drama that also could be a commercial powerhouse. Few films I have seen in recent years have cut so close to the bone as this one does. Americans, in particular, will respond strongly, and if ever there was a word-of-mouth movie, »
- Pete Hammond
Strong performances by Andrew Garfield and particularly Michael Shannon make Ramin Bahrani‘s 99 Homes a real estate Wall Street. After Rick Carver (Shannon) evicts Dennis Nash (Garfield), Nash’s son and his mother (Laura Dern) out of the house that has been in their family for years Nash strikes a Faustian bargain. He becomes Carver’s right-hand man, succumbing to the chance at easy money and the possibility of buying back his repossessed home.
Bahrani depicts this world of greed, of broken promises, and loss extremely well. But, as we all know, a change of heart must occur and Nash must be thoroughly motivated to do so. Thus, when Mom and his boy evince horror at his new profession and reject the McMansion he’s bought for them, over the evictee hotel they’ve been living in, it doesn’t wash. The final act of the film layers it on »
Ramin Bahrani returns to Venice in fine form with his scathing indictment of the mistreated and dispossessed in contemporary USA. Unlike Man Push Cart, these characters are not the marginalised of the country, but the everyman and woman trying to make ends meet and pay the mortgage during a financial crisis.
The film opens in classic police noir style, with a body in the bathroom, a gun on the floor and a flickering clock giving us time of death. Instead of a detective, in walks Rick Carver (Michael Shannon), a real estate broker whose speciality is repossessions. The year is 2010 and Fanny Mae is taking away people’s property by the thousand. The body in the bathroom is one of Rick’s victims: he’s no killer, but he is complicit in stripping away people’s lives.
Next on Ric’s list is Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield), a hardworking blue-collar worker, »
- Jo-Ann Titmarsh
Venice — The title treatment for Ramin Bahrani's Venice Competition entry consists of blood red letters on black. Filling the entire screen with blocky all-caps letters and numbers dozens of feet high, we read: 99 Homes. It looks more like the title treatment for a horror than a drama digging into a moral morass of foreclosure, subsistence level employment, and better paid but more spiritually costly work. As it turns out, it is also a horror movie of sorts. The first shot of the film itself is even a post-mortem scene, as Michael Shannon's predatory realtor Rick Carver -- and how's that for a horror movie name? -- gazes almost impassively at blood dribbling down tacky pink bathroom tiles. The contrast couldn't be more stark: Shannon in an off-white blazer so sharp it hurts (costume design by Meghan Kasperlik is on point throughout), gold watch glinting and not a hair »
- Catherine Bray
The number of properties referred to in the title of Ramin Bahrani’s fifth feature may have a literal narrative significance, but it must also refer to the population percentage routinely branded as the victims of Occupy-era economic downturn. in “99 Homes,” which sees Andrew Garfield’s blue-collared Florida everyman enter a Faustian pact with Michael Shannon’s white-blazered real-estate shark. Following the lead of 2012’s underrated “At Any Price” in matching the socially conscious topicality of Bahrani’s early films to the demands of broader-brush melodrama, this dynamically acted, unapologetically contrived pic reps the filmmaker’s best chance to date of connecting with a wider audience — one likely to share the helmer’s bristling anger over corruptly maintained class divides in modern-day America.
- Guy Lodge
Ramin Bahrani is not a name that many people know of, but he is one of the finest filmmakers working today. Anyone who saw Life Itself, the documentary about late film critic Roger Ebert, may remember that Bahrani befriended Ebert after the reviewer praised some of his early work, and it is likely due to Ebert’s influence that Bahrani has such a renowned reputation. His latest film, 99 Homes, is slated to premiere at the Venice and Toronto film festivals next month, and today we have our first look at it.
The drama stars Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon, two stellar actors who often work on the stage but are now best-known for their roles in superhero films (Garfield in Marc Webb’s Spider-Man movies, Shannon in Man of Steel). Based on the serious scowls on both of their faces in the first image above, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, this »
- Jordan Adler
The 3rd July 2013 saw the release of Disney's The Lone Ranger, its larger-than-life western starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. Its theatrical debut marked the end of a lengthy and difficult production, stories from which had been hungrily served up by the media - the previous summer was dominated by news stories of its spiralling budget, which was thought to have crossed $250m. Nevertheless, the 2013 blockbuster season should, in theory, have marked a fresh start for Disney, as it spent a reported $150m on marketing The Lone Ranger. But the House of Mouse hadn't counted on the popularity of another film launched on that exact same day in July: Universal's animated sequel, Despicable Me 2.
The Lone Ranger, a film with an »
Many of the winners and nominated stars attending this weekend's Oscars chose to grace the red carpet with a proud parent or supportive sibling.
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o were among the actors and actresses keeping it firmly within the family at the Academy Awards - and several other Hollywood parents and relatives turned out to support their nearest and dearest at this year's awards show:
The Wolf of Wall Street star Jonah Hill was accompanied by his proud mother Sharon Lyn Chalkin - a costume designer and fashion stylist - as they arrived together at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Jonah was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor trophy, which was won by Jared Leto.
Not only did Jared Leto bring his beloved mother Constance to the Oscars - after inviting her to the ceremony via FaceTime and filming her thrilled reaction for fans - »
Director: Ramin Bahrani
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
At Any Price came from the same earnest place as Chop Shop and Goodbye Solo and Ramin Bahrani had the luxury of working with a bigger budget/name cast garnishings, but the end result was a poorly conceived and executed cornhusk melodrama. My thinking is that this portrait of Americana will include a bit more bite. Employing the services of cinematographer Bobby Bukowski, with thesps Laura Dern and Michael Shannon in the mix, it’s fair to say that we might reach some authentic dramatic heights with the curiously titled, 99 Homes.
Gist: Set against the backdrop of the economic crisis, the drama revolves around an unemployed contractor who »
- Eric Lavallee
15 items from 2014
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