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The first clip from writer/director J.C. Chandor's 1981-set crime drama "A Most Violent Year" (whose title is a bit of a misnomer) has landed. Jessica Chastain plays cigarette-wielding, master manipulatrix Anna Morales who in this clip attempts to distract David Oyelowo's stern detective while her husband Abel, played by Oscar Isaac, stashes evidence of their wrongdoings in the backyard. They're ringleaders of a criminal oil enterprise in New York but now their world is beginning to crumble. J.C. Chandor's slickly made but uneven followup to "Margin Call" and cause célèbre "All Is Lost" is the best Oscar shot for Chastain, who acts the hell out of this spiky role opposite an iconic Oscar Isaac. Oyelowo, meanwhile, floored audiences this week in "Selma" at AFI Fest, where "Most Violent Year" also premiered. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
(Photos copyright Mark Cerulli. All rights reserved.)
By Mark Cerulli
Last Wednesday, the red carpet was rolled out on Hollywood Boulevard, the paparazzi were out in force and the Spiderman and Wonder Woman impersonators had been pushed aside, at least momentarily, for American Film Institute’s annual film festival.
Cinema Retro was in da house for writer/director J.C. Chandor’s new crime drama, A Most Violent Year, this year’s opening night selection. The director introduced his third film onstage at the Dolby Theater, joined by his distinguished cast and crew, including Jessica Chastain and Dp Bradford Young. Chandor also pointed out where he was sitting when his screenplay for “Margin Call” (which he also directed) lost out to Woody Allen’s “Midnight In Paris” in the 2012 Oscar race.
Although the film’s setting – the cutthroat world of home heating oil doesn’t sound exciting, it provides the backdrop for Abel Morales, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Barnum has spent the past decade bridging finance and independent film, having worked with the likes of Benaroya Pictures and Annapurna Pictures. But it’s in recent years that he’s fully come into his own, partnering with Cassian Elwes last year to create e2b Capital, and boasting a slate that includes Kevin Costner starrer “Black and White,” Peter Bogdanovich’s “She’s Funny That Way” and Paul Bettany’s “Shelter.”
Barnum first turned heads as a producer of J.C. Chandor’s “Margin Call,” and partnered with the director again for last year’s “All Is Lost.” Yet per- haps the most audacious project of his career is one that’s just starting to kick into gear: the long-
mooted biopic “Miles Ahead.”
“I’ve been doing this long enough that I’d seen the Miles Davis project a couple of times,” Barnum says. “I’d read the script, »
- Andrew Barker
New York writer-director J.C. Chandor shot like a cannon out of Sundance 2011 with Wall Street talk-fest "Margin Call," which landed him an Original Screenplay Oscar nomination, followed by success d'estime "All Is Lost" in 2013, with solo movie star Robert Redford. So expectations were high for "A Most Violent Year." But sometimes early success breeds too much confidence. The most crucial tightrope act when considering a release plan is to realistically figure out what you've got. A24 landed the movie, which was backed by Participant Media, but finally catered to the director's strongly stated desire to follow a prestige fall release plan. Telluride did not pursue an early cut of the film--it might not have been finished in time anyway--which after a few more months in the editing room finally went to AFI Fest for opening night. The trouble with an award-season release is that scrutiny is more intense. As Tom Brueggemann suggests in his weekend. »
- Anne Thompson
Year of Living Stressfully: Chandor Returns with Slow-Boil Scald
Baby, it may be cold outside, but the climate’s sure changing in J.C. Chandor’s flashback to 1981 New York City in A Most Violent Year, the director’s third and most iniquitous portrayal yet of humans struggling for survival or ascension among the ranks. Following the success of his talky yet effective 2011 debut, Margin Call, a slick examination of the viperous tendencies amongst Wall Street’s elite and the 2008 crash, and 2013’s Robert Redford against the elements flick All Is Lost, Chandor extends his dexterity to a period piece that’s already drawn comparison to the heyday of Lumet and the underrated familial dramas of James Gray. With a little luck, Chandor’s title won’t be treated to the same ambivalence as Gray’s films tend to be, but in line with his previous two titles, it’s an equally difficult, »
- Nicholas Bell
Writer-director J.C. Chandor's crime-drama A Most Violent Year kicked off the American Film Institute's AFI Fest with its glitzy world premiere Thursday night in Hollywood. In front of the crowd at the Dolby Theatre, Chandor reminisced about the last time he was in that space — for the 2012 Oscars. "The last time I was in this room, I was sitting right there and lost to Woody Allen," referring to the Academy Awards where he lost the original screenplay award for Margin Call to Allen's Midnight in Paris. Chandor took a deep breath. "Let's hope it
- Nicole Behnam
Pointing to a specific seat in the front orchestra section of the vast Dolby Theatre before Thursday’s AFI Fest opening-night world premiere of his new film A Most Violent Year, writer-director Jc Chandor said “the last time I was in this room I was sitting right there and I lost to Woody Allen. Let’s hope it goes a little better tonight.”
Chandor was referring to the 2012 Oscar show, in which he was nominated for Original Screenplay for his first feature Margin Call. Although (unfairly I thought) overlooked by the Academy last year for his second film, All Is Lost — which at the very least should have snagged star Robert Redford a Best Actor nod but didn’t — I have a feeling he could perhaps find himself back at the Dolby in February in that same category where he duked it out with Woody.
More than one observer compared this dark, »
- Pete Hammond
After his debut film "Margin Call" in 2011 and its very different follow-up "All is Lost" in 2013, writer-director J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year" is a truly impressive film, one that takes all the concerns of his prior films — money, control, fate — and puts them on a canvas as big and bleak as New York in 1981. The resemblance to Sidney Lumet's work in the '80s is not accidental. Chandor is looking at human behavior, and society, and chose a dramatically and artistically appealing backdrop — and perhaps subconsciously hoped to remind us of when audiences would, and could, see films about real people in human conflict in actual cities at the theater. Like Lumet, it all seems to boil down to one question: What good is the American Dream if you can't sleep at night because of the things you did to achieve it? Played by Oscar Isaac — costumed »
- James Rocchi
J.C. Chandor started off as a promising but cold filmmaker. His first two feature films, Margin Call and All is Lost, showed us the nuts and bolts of those worlds, whether it be the life of a lost sailor or the strangest day at a Wall Street investment bank. In the latter case, the world was far more compelling than the characters, but he brought some of the humanity and nuance lacking in his directorial debut to All is Lost. Thankfully he’s cranked up the emotion even higher for his latest film, A Most Violent Year, which is a paradoxical title for this stirring drama. Much of the drama derives from the unsexy world of heating oil supply. This is not a gangster movie about drugs. This is not a gangster movie with shootouts. This is a gangster movie about a man, Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), who doesn’t want to be a gangster. To »
- Jack Giroux
J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year, set in the violent New York winter of 1981 and starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, won't hit theaters until the very last day of this year, but it's just opened AFI Fest. Variety's Scott Foundas: "If Chandor’s promising 2011 debut, Margin Call, could loosely be described as a Wall Street transposition of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, A Most Violent Year seems to have been steeped overnight in a solution equal parts Sidney Lumet and Lumet’s consummate latter-day reinterpreter, James Gray." We're gathering a first round of reviews and we've posted the trailer. » - David Hudson »
New York CIty, 1981, is a blasted moral hellscape against which a very primal struggle for survival unfolds in a very tense thirty days, all for the right to supply homes with heating oil. J. C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year" is a powerfully told story, a thrilling surprise, and both Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain do remarkable work as a couple trying to close a deal that will turn their heating oil company into a much larger overall business, the deal they've been working their whole lives to prepare. This one particular month starts with them confident, convinced they're going to take things to the next level, and it unfolds with them increasingly unsure that they're going to pull it off. It is a movie about an entire city conspiring to test a marriage, and the way this one particular couple fights their way through. This is a great screenplay first and foremost. »
- Drew McWeeny
Director J.C. Chandor's new movie “A Most Violent Year” is set in New York City in 1981, the most crime-ridden year on record — but he's premiering it far from those environs, at Hollywood's AFI Fest 2014 on Thursday night. “It's my first-ever Los Angeles premiere of any sort,” Chandor told TheWrap about the debut of film, which is being distributed by A24. “And it's fitting, because this is a good old-fashioned Hollywood movie.” Chandor began his directing career with a talky movie about high finance, “Margin Call,” followed by a talk-free movie about sailing, “All Is Lost.” “A Most Violent »
- Steve Pond
One good movie can be a fluke, and two can represent the fulfillment of early promise. Three thoughtful, provocative films in a row, however, demand that attention be paid. And “A Most Violent Year” heralds J.C. Chandor as one of the most fascinating filmmakers working today, particularly because his three films couldn't be more different. With his debut, “Margin Call,” he took us inside the inner workings of Wall Street 2008, showing us the looks on the faces of the Masters of the Universe as they realized, scant hours beforehand, that their entire financial empire was on the verge of »
- Alonso Duralde
When “New York, New York” lyricist Fred Ebb wrote that immortal line, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” it’s doubtful he imagined the life-or-death stakes such sentiments take on in “A Most Violent Year,” an ’80s-era NYC crime drama in which just making it from one day to the next seems like a major accomplishment. In his third turn behind the camera, writer-director J.C. Chandor has delivered a tough, gritty, richly atmospheric thriller that lacks some of the formal razzle-dazzle of his solo seafaring epic, “All Is Lost,” but makes up for it with an impressively sustained low-boil tension and the skillful navigating of a complex plot (at least up until a wholly unnecessary last-minute twist). Like last fall’s “Out of the Furnace,” this solid, grown-up movie-movie is almost certainly too dark and moody to connect with a broad mainstream public or make major awards-season waves, »
- Scott Foundas
There are any number of reasons to be excited for “A Most Violent Year” which bows at the AFI Fest today prior to opening on New Year’s Eve. It’s Jessica Chastain’s next film after “Interstellar,” it’s Oscar Isaac’s most high-profile, meaty lead since “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and it’s director J.C. Chandor’s third film after the terrific, eclectic one-two punch of “Margin Call” and “All is Lost.” And there’s the absolutely fantastic-looking trailer (plus it's great; read our review). But there’s one final factor that has us anticipating it so hotly —the film is the latest addition to the canon of New York Crime movies, a genre that is so distinctive and so deeply knotted into the very fabric of modern American cinema that it has given us maybe ten or twenty of its irrefutably anointed classics. New York City is a »
- The Playlist Staff
With the seven major studios devoting increasing focus on tentpoles, the indie sector is seeing a welcome emergence of new distributors.
The biggest splash this year has come from 6-month-old Saban Films, which bought three films — John Travolta’s “The Forger,” Taylor Lautner’s “Tracers” and Hayden Christensen’s “American Heist” — at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival. That’s been a tonic to the volatile world of independent producers.
The label is looking for mid-range commercial fare and the occasional prestige title — such as “The Homesman,” starring Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank, which it acquired at Cannes. It’s the first release from Saban Films, opening Nov. 14 as awards season gains traction, and should send a message to the industry.
Another upstart making waves is Broad Green Pictures, which picked up “99 Homes,” starring »
- Carole Horst
No one could accuse writer-director J.C. Chandor of going an easily predictable route with his filmography to date. Margin Call, his 2011 feature debut that earned him an Oscar nomination, was an ensemble piece about the recent financial crisis, and he followed that with 2013′s All Is Lost, which only featured one actor (Robert Redford, giving a largely wordless performance). His new effort, A Most Violent Year, sees him venturing into period crime drama territory, with a story mostly centered on a husband and wife pairing played by Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.
Co-starring David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Christopher Abbott, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Albert Brooks, A Most Violent Year is set in 1981 and concerns the ambitious immigrant head of an oil business clashing with the criminal underworld of New York City in 1981. One of the more appealing elements of the film’s second trailer, which you can view below, is »
- Josh Slater-Williams
Today we have a new trailer for the upcoming "A Most Violent Year," which comes from writer/director Jc Chandor (Margin Call, All is Lost) and stars Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac and Albert Brooks. Check it out below. Plot: Set during the winter of 1981 -- statistically one of the most crime-ridden of New York City's history -- the film follows the lives of an immigrant and his family as they attempt to capitalize on the American Dream, while the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built. The new movie is set to hit theaters on December 31st. Trailer: »
'Idol's Eye' production shut down: Robert De Niro, Robert Pattinson and Rachel Weisz to have starred in Olivier Assayas' action-thriller (photo: Robert Pattinson) Production on screenwriter-director Olivier Assayas' action-thriller Idol's Eye, which was to have starred two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro (The Godfather: Part II, Raging Bull), Robert Pattinson (the Twilight movies, The Rover), and Oscar winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener), has been shut down, officially due to financing woes. Michael Benaroya's Beverly Hills-based Benaroya Pictures announced the bad news earlier today, November 3, 2014. “Due to the criteria for financing not being met by producers, Benaroya Pictures has formally decided to discontinue financing the motion picture titled Idol's Eye. The company cannot continue to put its investment at risk and has been forced to stop cash flowing [to] the production. “This is something all of us wanted to avoid, but due to the producers missing »
- Zac Gille
A Most Violent Year has the look and sound of a mid-career Martin Scorsese film – and that’s a very good thing. With a cast including Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, J.C. Chandor’s forbidding-looking drama will premiere at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles this Thursday. In preparation for that, we get to see a few new trailers from the Us and the UK, both of them making a compelling case for the quality of the film.
Isaac stars as immigrant businessman Abel Morales, trying to build and expand his business during the winter of 1981 – one of the most violent times in the history of New York City. As murders and rapes eat the city from the inside out, Morales and his well-connected wife, Anna (Chastain), try to protect their family and their business, all the while getting drawn deeper into the decay and corruption around them.
Based on »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
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