A Most Violent Year

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A Most Violent Year
A black and white photo of a male and female
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJ. C. Chandor
Written byJ. C. Chandor
Produced byJ. C. Chandor
Neal Dodson
Anna Gerb
Starring
CinematographyBradford Young
Edited byRon Patane
Music byAlex Ebert
Production
companies
Distributed byA24
Release dates
  • November 6, 2014 (2014-11-06) (AFI Fest)
  • December 31, 2014 (2014-12-31) (United States)
Running time
125 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$12 million[3]

A Most Violent Year is a 2014 American crime drama film written and directed by J. C. Chandor. The film stars Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain with Alessandro Nivola, David Oyelowo, Albert Brooks, and Catalina Sandino Moreno. Isaac plays Abel Morales, the owner of a small heating-oil company who is stressed by the competitiveness in the oil trade and from having to secure costly loans to expand his business. When his trucks start being hijacked, he faces increased pressure for his drivers to arm themselves.

The film premiered as the opening film of AFI Fest on November 6, 2014, and it was released theatrically on December 31, 2014. Despite critical praise, the film lost money at the box office, grossing $12 million on a budget of $20 million; J. C. Chandor, Neal Dodson, and Anna Gerb won the National Board of Review Award for Best Film.

Plot[edit]

In 1981 New York, trucking company owner Abel Morales has had several trucks hijacked, ones carrying heating oil. Driver Julian is severely beaten by two hijackers. Abel's wife Anna beseeches Abel to fight violence with violence, but he refuses. Morales and his company are under investigation by Assistant District Attorney Lawrence, who seems determined to expose price fixing, tax evasion, and various other illegalities in the heating oil business.

Abel's attorney, Andrew Walsh, brokers a deal with Hasidic Joseph Mendellsohn, to purchase a fuel oil terminal on the East River for $1.5 million. He makes a large down payment with the agreement that he will close in 30 days or lose his money.

After moving into a new home, Morales chases an intruder, then finds a dropped gun. He confronts his competitors but they deny involvement. A Teamsters boss suggests Morales's drivers should carry handguns with fake permits. Morales refuses, fearing for his legitimate business reputation.

Julian is again accosted by hijackers, and they shoot at each other. The police chase Julian and the others, who all escape. Morales's bank says that, due to the impending criminal indictments and this violent incident, it can no longer finance his purchase of the terminal.

Morales gets a loan from competitors Saul and Lorraine Leftkowitz in exchange for partial use of the terminal, but it won't cover the entire purchase. Morales raises more money by taking out a mortgage on a building he owns with his younger brother. Another hijacking is reported, and he stops the stolen truck. The hijacker says he sells the oil in Far Rockaway. Morales confronts a competitor who has facilities in Far Rockaway, threatening to call the authorities. Morales is paid for the stolen oil but is still $600,000 short of the purchase price.

Morales visits another competitor, Mafia-affiliated Peter Forente, to ask for the remaining money. Forente warns him that any such loan will be on onerous terms and tells him to think things through before committing to it. Dismayed, Morales tells Anna about Peter's terms and she confesses that she has been skimming from the company for years, storing the money in a secret account. Anna convinces Abel to use this money instead of a loan from Forente.

Morales and Walsh pay the note and take possession of the terminal. Julian arrives carrying a gun, asking for a share of the profits. Morales refuses, and Julian kills himself. Morales tells Lawrence that the broader investigations into his firm are hurting his business, and that they should find a conclusion at some point. Lawrence agrees in general terms and suggests that the new oil terminal will develop Morales' business and give him "political influence." Lawrence then hints that Morales might be able to help him with his higher aspirations. Morales claims that he has always taken the path that is "most right".

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

On May 23, 2013, Deadline reported that filmmaker J. C. Chandor would write and direct A Most Violent Year, which was to begin shooting in the fall.[11] Neal Dodson and Anna Gerb co-produced the film along with FilmNation Entertainment's Glen Basner as executive producer.[11] On January 22, 2014, A24 acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the film, which A24 then scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2014.[12] The film was co-financed by Image Nation and Participant Media, and produced by Before the Door Pictures and Washington Square Films.[8]

Casting[edit]

On June 5, 2013, Javier Bardem joined the film to play the lead.[13] On July 16, 2013, Jessica Chastain joined the cast to play the lead role along with Bardem.[5] On December 3, 2013, Oscar Isaac officially replaced Bardem.[4] On January 27, 2014, Albert Brooks joined the film, playing Isaac's character's attorney,[8] and actress Catalina Sandino Moreno also joined the film in a supporting role.[9] On January 29, 2014, while the film's shooting was underway, David Oyelowo joined the cast.[7] Other cast members include Ashley Williams, Elyes Gabel, Harris Yulin, Giselle Eisenberg, and Elizabeth Marvel.[10] On February 21, 2014, Alessandro Nivola was cast to play Peter Forente, a heating oil distributor who is a competitor to Isaac's character.[6]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on January 29, 2014, in New York City.[7][14]

Music[edit]

The musical score for A Most Violent Year was composed by Alex Ebert, who previously collaborated with director Chandor on All Is Lost (2013).[15] Influenced musically by the culture and life of the 1980s, specifically thinking of Miami Vice and Scarface, Ebert predominantly utilized synthesizers.[16] "It's a synthesis of sort-of calling-card themes and extended atmospheres. There’s horns and flutes and strings, but there’s also sort of these meditative synthetic beds underlying."[17]

A soundtrack album was released by Community Music on December 16, 2014.[18]

Release[edit]

The film had its world premiere at the AFI Fest on November 6, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The film was released in four United States theaters on December 31, 2014, by A24 and expanded from there to a nationwide release.[19] In the United Kingdom, the film was released by Icon Film Distribution.[20]

Critical response[edit]

A Most Violent Year received very positive reviews, with many critics comparing Chandor's style in this film favorably to the works of Sidney Lumet, and praise given to the performances of Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 90%, based on 232 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Gritty, gripping, and weighted with thought-provoking heft, A Most Violent Year represents another strong entry in writer-director J. C. Chandor's impressive filmography."[21] Metacritic gave the film a score of 79 out of 100, based on reviews from 44 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[22]

Business Insider's Brett Arnold wrote that the movie "may be slow, but it's never dull."[23] Variety's Scott Foundas compared it to Chandor's previous film saying the movie is "a tough, gritty, richly atmospheric thriller that lacks some of the formal razzle-dazzle of his solo seafaring epic, 'All Is Lost,' but makes up for it with an impressively sustained low-boil tension and the skillful navigating of a complex plot."[24] The Wrap's Alonso Duralde praised the director, proclaiming that Chandor "firmly plants himself among this generation's great filmmakers."[25] Chastain was nominated for a Golden Globe.

Top-ten lists[edit]

A Most Violent Year was listed on many critics' top 10 lists.[26]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of Ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Central Ohio Film Critics Association January 8, 2015 Best Film A Most Violent Year 9th Place [27][28]
Best Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain Nominated
Best Original Screenplay J. C. Chandor Nominated
Actor of the Year Jessica Chastain Nominated
Golden Globe Awards January 11, 2015 Best Supporting Actress Nominated [29]
Chicago Film Critics Association December 15, 2014 Best Supporting Actress Nominated [30]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards January 11, 2015 Best Supporting Actress Nominated [31]
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association December 15, 2014 Best Supporting Actress 4th Place [32]
Florida Film Critics Circle December 19, 2014 Best Supporting Actress 3rd Place
Georgia Film Critics Association January 9, 2015 Best Picture A Most Violent Year Nominated [33][34]
Best Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain Nominated
Gotham Awards December 1, 2014 Best Actor Oscar Isaac Nominated [35]
Houston Film Critics Society January 10, 2015 Best Picture Nominated [32]
Best Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards February 21, 2015 Best Supporting Actress Nominated [36]
Best Screenplay J. C. Chandor Nominated
Best Editing Ron Patane Nominated
Indiana Film Journalists Association December 15, 2014 Top 10 Films Won [37]
Best Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain Won
Iowa Film Critics January 7, 2015 Best Movie Yet to Open in Iowa A Most Violent Year (tied with American Sniper) Tied [38]
London Film Critics' Circle January 18, 2015 Best Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain Nominated [39]
Technical Achievement Award Kasia Walicka-Maimone (costumes) Nominated
National Board of Review December 2, 2014 Best Film Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb, J. C. Chandor Won [40]
Best Actor Oscar Isaac (tied with Michael Keaton for Birdman) Tied
Best Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain Won
New York Film Critics Online December 7, 2014 Top Ten Films Won [41]
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle January 5, 2015 Best Picture 9th Place [42]
Online Film Critics Society December 15, 2014 Best Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain Nominated [43]
Phoenix Film Critics Society December 16, 2014 Best Film Nominated [44][45]
Top 10 Films Won
Best Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain Nominated
Best Original Screenplay J. C. Chandor Nominated
Best Cinematography Bradford Young Nominated
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards December 14, 2014 Best Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain Nominated [46]
Best Original Screenplay J. C. Chandor Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association December 15, 2014 Best Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain Nominated [32]
Utah Film Critics Association December 17, 2014 Best Supporting Actress Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association February 21, 2015 Best Supporting Actress Nominated [47]
Best Actor Oscar Isaac Nominated
Whistler Film Festival December 10, 2014 Audience Award A Most Violent Year Won [48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (15)". British Board of Film Classification. November 21, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  2. ^ Cieply, Michael (November 5, 2014). "One Star, 2 Films and Conflict". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  3. ^ "A Most Violent Year (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Siegel, Tatiana (December 3, 2013). "Oscar Isaac, J.C. Chandor Team Up for 'A Most Violent Year'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (July 16, 2013). "Jessica Chastain Eyes 'A Most Violent Year'". Variety. Archived from the original on November 20, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Busch, Anita (February 21, 2014). "'American Hustle's Alessandro Nivola Joins J.C. Chandor's 'A Most Violent Year'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c McClintock, Pamela (January 29, 2014). "David Oyelowo Joins Cast of 'A Most Violent Year'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Fleming, Mike Jr. (January 27, 2014). "Albert Brooks Joins 'A Most Violent Year'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (January 27, 2014). "Catalina Sandino Moreno Joins Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain in 'A Most Violent Year'". TheWrap.com. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d "A Most Violent Year – cast: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Ashley Williams, Elyes Gabel and others". onenewspage.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Tartaglione, Nancy (May 23, 2013). "J.C. Chandor Sets Next Project 'A Most Violent Year'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  12. ^ Sneider, Jeff (January 22, 2014). "A24 Acquires Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain Drama 'A Most Violent Year'". TheWrap.com. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 5, 2013). "Javier Bardem Pacts Pair: He'll Star In J.C. Chandor's 'A Most Violent Year' And Opposite Sean Penn In 'The Gunman'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  14. ^ "'A Most Violent Year' begins filming in New York City with Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain". onlocationvacations.com. January 28, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  15. ^ "Alex Ebert to Score J.C. Chandor's 'A Most Violent Year'". Film Music Reporter. September 18, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  16. ^ Lattanzio, Ryan (December 11, 2014). "How Composer Alex Ebert Tuned Into 'A Most Violent Year,' J.C. Chandor, "Celestial Archaeology"". Indiewire. SnagFilms. Archived from the original on January 4, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  17. ^ Calia, Michael (December 30, 2014). "Alex Ebert Helps 'A Most Violent Year' Get in Tune With the American Dream". The Wall Street Journal. News Corp. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "'A Most Violent Year' Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. November 26, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  19. ^ "J.C. Chandor Pic 'A Most Violent Year' Gets New Year's Eve Release: Video". Deadline Hollywood. September 18, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  20. ^ "A MOST VIOLENT YEAR | British Board of Film Classification". bbfc.co.uk. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  21. ^ "A Most Violent Year". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  22. ^ "A Most Violent Year". Metacritic. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  23. ^ Arnold, Brett (November 14, 2014). "'A Most Violent Year' Is A Gripping Take On The American Dream". Business Insider. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  24. ^ Foundas, Scott (November 6, 2014). "Film Review: 'A Most Violent Year'". Variety. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  25. ^ Duralde, Alonso (November 6, 2014). "'A Most Violent Year' Review: Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac Chase the American Dream, by Hook or by Crook". TheWrap. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  26. ^ "Film Critic Top 10 Lists – Best Movies of 2014". Metacritic. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  27. ^ "'Birdman' strong with Central Ohio film critics nominations". January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  28. ^ "Awards Archive".
  29. ^ "Golden Globes: 2015 nominations". BBC News. December 11, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  30. ^ Di Nunzio, Miriam (December 12, 2014). "'Birdman' garners nine Chicago Film Critics Association nominations". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 19, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  31. ^ Thompson, Anne (December 15, 2014). "Critics Choice Award Nominations Led by 'Birdman,' "Budapest,' 'Boyhood'". Indiewire. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  32. ^ a b c Dietz, Jason (December 1, 2014). "Best of 2014: Film Awards & Nominations Scorecard". Metacritic. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  33. ^ "'Birdman,' 'Boyhood,' 'Grand Budapest' and 'Selma' lead Georgia critics nominations". HitFix. January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  34. ^ "Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton among Georgia Critics' 2014 winners". HitFix. January 9, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  35. ^ "Gotham Independent Film Awards 2014 Nominations". Rotten Tomatoes. October 23, 2014. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  36. ^ "Independent Spirit Award Nominations 2015:Full List of Nominees". Deadline Hollywood. November 25, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  37. ^ "Boyhood tops Indiana film critic awards". AwardsDaily. December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  38. ^ "'Boyhood' is Iowa Critics' Best Picture of 2014". HitFix. January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  39. ^ Lodge, Guy (December 16, 2014). "'Mr. Turner,' 'Birdman' Top London Critics' Nominations". Variety. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  40. ^ "National Board of Review Announces 2014 Winners". nationalboardofreview.org. December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  41. ^ Kilday, Gregg (December 7, 2014). "New York Film Critics Online Name 'Boyhood' Best Picture". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  42. ^ "OFCC Awards BOYHOOD Best Picture and Director; Rosamund Pike Wins Best Actress". Collider.com. January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  43. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 8, 2014). "'Boyhood,' 'Grand Budapest' lead with 2014 online film critics nominations". HitFix. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  44. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 9, 2014). "'Birdman' leads 2014 Phoenix Film Critics Society nominations". HitFix. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  45. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 16, 2014). "'Birdman' comes away with six Phoenix film critics awards including Best Picture". HitFix. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  46. ^ "2014 SAN FRANCISCO FILM CRITICS AWARDS:Full List of Nominees". San Francisco Film Critics Circle. 2014. Archived from the original on December 14, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  47. ^ Patches, Matt (December 7, 2014). "'Birdman,' 'Boyhood' lead Washington DC critics awards nominations". HitFix. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  48. ^ Cathryn Atkinson, "Quebec drama Félix et Meira sweeps Borsos Awards at WFF 2014". Pique Newsmagazine, December 10, 2014.

External links[edit]