A Most Violent Year

Directed by J.C. Chandor

Starring Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Albert Brooks, Alessandro Nivola and David Oyelowo
In US Cinemas December 31st, 2014
In UK Cinemas January 23rd, 2015

by Joanna Orland

A Most Violent Year makes a most dull film.  Flawed with so many awkward scenes, edits and lines that evoke laughter rather than high tension drama, it’s amazing that there is any Oscar buzz surrounding this independent film at all.  The only Oscar that this film should be associated with is of the Isaac variety.

Oscar Isaac is a good guy in a corrupt city.  1981 New York is poisonous to him and to his business.  His business is gasoline which is being stolen from his trucks as he’s bullied by crooks, colleagues and the city’s district attorney.  Whatever he comes up against, he refuses to compromise his integrity because as he sees it, there are two paths – one, and one more right.  He will always choose the more right, even when it’s not the easiest.  He won’t let the mistakes of others hold him back.  He refuses.  Even when it’s clear that others include his wife / mother of his three children played by Jessica Chastain.

Full of clichés, stereotypes and a weak narrative, this film fails to deliver the hard-hitting mobster story that it could and should.  There are moments of greatness, character depth and definite style via the fashion, but overall this film takes the path less right.

Leave a Reply