A Most Violent Year Is A Most Extraordinary Film – Yahoo News

Oscar Isaac has been extremely good in previous rolesfor instance, as a likable ex-con in Drive and as an unlikable folk singer in Inside Llewyn Davis but he is an utter revelation as Abel, the quiet power of his performance recalling early Pacino. (Indeed, the movie itself in many ways resembles a smaller-scale The Godfather Part II, and there are echoes, too, of Sidney Lumets 1970s oeuvre.) Fastidious in appearance and precise in diction, Isaacs Abel is a portrait of a man obsessed with maintaining control, both of himself and of his surroundings. The intensity of his gaze is a particular marvel. A scene in which he tells some newly promoted customer representatives that, when dealing with clients, they should hold eye contact a second longer than is comfortable seems less a lesson in sales than in acting. Chastain is excellent as Abels hot-headed, mobbed-up wife, Anna (a nice inversion of the customary cinematic trope), and Brooksalmost unrecognizable under a mop of flat, gray hairgives perhaps the most wonderfully understated performance of his career. The supporting cast is also terrific, including Oyelowo, Peter Gerety (as a pragmatic old union chief), Elyes Gabel (as a frightened driver), Jerry Adler (as the ancient Hasid from whom Abel is buying the property), and Alessandro Nivola (as a sleek heating-fuel kingpin who plays tennis in a bunker that looks as though it could withstand nuclear attack).
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