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A Most Violent Year

A Most Violent Year

. It is visually and thematically dark, and very masculine. It has Rembrandt lighting and a palette dominated by paper bags brown, burnt yellow, leprosy emeralds and dirty cream. There is talk of honor and integrity and tradition, of old paths coming along and a more mediocre, smaller, more chaotic, new path takes its place. It’s an organized crime movie, or a family drama, or a big city nightmare, or all three things at once. No one in it is conventionally sympathetic.

The hero

The hero, despite a certain reluctance to sell what is left of his soul, soon finds out that in order to advance in this world, you must be cold and calculated, and free yourself from illusions. “A Most Violent Year,” a 1981 New York period piece written and written by J.C. Chandor (“All is Lost”, “Margin Call”), is the kind of movie. Oh, boy, this is the kind of movie. It’s very good for what it is. But it is the “for what it is” part that proves slightly frightening.
Oscar Isaac plays the hero, Abel Morales, who runs a heating company that he took over . He is under investigation for business, um, irregularities; and D.A. (David Oyelowo or “Selma”) riding him like an old dry horse. As if that wasn’t enough pressure, Abel’s company is under pressure from competitors. Worse, someone started hijacking his trucks: this happens in the opening sequence as he and his lawyer, Andrew (Albert Brooks, clever and clever and almost unrecognizable, as is often the case today), deliver the paycheck.