Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
Earlier Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

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Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Most Violent Year

The director/writer J.C. Chandor of Margin Call and All is Lost sets his newest work in the winter of 1981 which was the most violent year on record for New York City. The story follows three turbulent days of a young upwardly mobile couple who run a heating oil business. The movie is bathed in muted tones, and the cold harsh city's industrial districts. The costuming by Kasia Walicka Maimone is spot on for the times, and the music scored by Alex Ebert enhances the feeling of the film. It's almost a gangster movie, without real gangsters.

Oscar Isaac who was so memorable in Inside Llewyn Davis plays Abel Morales, a Latin American businessman who had bought a heating oil company from the gangster father of his wife Anna (Jessica Chastain). In a short time he's made it a successful venture that he hopes to expand by investing in a new piece of property that is not only on a waterway, but has several storage tanks and pumps. They invest all their savings into the down payment. The Orthodox Jewish owners give him a few days to bring the rest of the funds or they will lose their payment. Things seem to be going their way when another of their trucks are hijacked and their driver injured. Abel who prides himself as a self made man who rises to the top on his own positivity doesn't want to fall into the trap of using violence against violence. The teamsters want to arm the drivers. His fellow businessman turn a blink eye and don't want to help. Even his wife offers to have her father step in. It becomes worse when Abel's investors back out because of the violence with the hijackings. And a certain prosecutor (David Oyelowo) is bound and determined to prove Abel is a crook like everyone else in their line of work. Abel has to hustle, bargain, beg, and deal to raise the additional money.

It's the characterizations from the talented cast that makes this movie special. Isaac's Able is an intense guy. He trains his sale crew with his special methods of closing a sale. He strives to run his a legitimate business and very well dressed. He's trying to live the American dream. His wife is his partner, bookkeeper and mother of his children. Being the daughter of a gangster she was her own ways of dealing with things. Chastain inhabits Anna so well that you hardly notice that it is her. His lawyer Andrew Walsh (Albert Brooks) seems a bit shady and fellow businessman Peter (Alessandro Nivola) give color and smarmy attitude to the proceedings.

It's not a movie for everyone. It looks and feels well done and important. But at the same time, it drags and makes you wish for something else to happen. Chastain should nab a supporting nod.
(Review by reesa)

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