On the surface, A Most Violent Year is markedly different from Chandor’s first two features – about Wall Street and the ocean, respectively – but it shares with them a disinterest in traditional dramaturgy; these films are political statements first, stories second. Margin Call was an excoriation of self-interested capitalism on the cusp of devastation, while The New York Times interpreted All is Lost as “a fable about the soul of man under global capitalism.” On one level, A Most Violent Year is about capitalism too, serving as an interrogation of the challenges – and arguably the impossibility – of acting ethically in a system founded on criminality and selfishness. It also operates as an allegory for how America’s actions as a global citizen were corrupted by a thirst for oil, highlighted in the memorable shot of blood and oil trickling together down the side of a ruptured fuel tank.
Read my complete review of A Most Violent Year at The 500 Club.
6 thoughts on “A Most Violent Year (2014)”
Really liked this one. A nice discussion of capitalism and corruption, and although it got a bit too heavy-handed at the end, it was still compelling throughout. Oscar Isaac was brilliant, as always, but I felt Chastain was a bit underwritten (she was still great, though, because she’s Jessica Chastain).
Oh, and I really loved that chase scene late in the movie.
Right!? Very French Connection-esque.
I totally agree that Chastain felt underwritten, but thankfully she’s a good enough actress to find depth lacking in the script. Heavy-handed is par for the course with Chandor; it worked for me in this instance!
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