A crime drama set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically one of the most violent years in the city's history, and centered on the lives of an immigrant and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built.Written by
Having seen it a few days ago, the more I think of "A Most Violent Year", the more I like it.
This is not a spoiler, but a friendly tip: don't expect a lot of what the title implies, because the movie does not focus on violence.
While there are tense and violent moments, the movie's strenght lies in the performances and the interactions between characters.
Oscar Isaac plays Abel, a businessman who is trying to make a clean living while being more and more pressured by an unknown threat. The competition plays dirty while he wants to stay an honest man.
Abel's moral struggle is what the narrative revolves around. Jessica Chastain play Anna, Abel's wife and business partner. She is equally as powerful, assertive and dominant as he is, if not more so.
The director did a wonderful job at creating a tense, sad and dramatic mood throughout. The cinematography is wonderful, the subtle moody soundtrack plays a big part in creating a feeling of impending doom throughout the entire movie, and I am very impressed by the recreation of a 1981 New York. It's very immersive.
While nothing mainstream audiences will drool over, I find "A Most Violent Year" an excellent drama. If you like this movie, you should give "The Two Faces Of January" a chance as well. Not only you would notice what a chameleon Oscar Isaac is, but you might enjoy the classic mood and character-driven vibe of that film as well.
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