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

(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). But the true star of A Most Violent Year is writer-director Chandor. In addition to eliciting such strong performances across the board, he has constructed an intricate film out of immaculately realized set pieces: the ominous sound that awakens Abel in the night, a precarious dinner with the bankers subsidizing his bid, an edge-of-the-seat foot chase on the 59th Street Bridge. Though theres little violence portrayed onscreen, Chandor imbues the proceedings with a sense of methodically constricting menace, of unspecified dangers waiting to reveal themselves.
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