Filled with fantastic, bravura performances that never hit a false note, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR is a surefire awards contender that missed the cut. Another established effort from J.C. Chandor is one that might be his best. By far and away the best part of this film is the acting. Every supporting character creates a layer of reality that really adds to the film. Not only that, but the performances from Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain are among the best of the year. I don't know how people like Emma Stone, Laura Dern, and Keira Knightley are nominated for the Supporting Actress category at the Oscars above Chastain. The screenplay is to thank for these performances as well; each character is so well written, and a near-veteran like Chandor creates yet another order of complex characters that are hidden, while you want to know and discover so much more. Like Nightcrawler, I absolutely adore the cinematography that connects the city. Nightcrawler was beautiful with its shots of Los Angeles at night, and A Most Violent Year succeeds with New York at day. This is truly a beautifully shot movie. Something many will not like about this film is its pace. The film appears to be slow and draggy, but I disagree. I think this film echoes Foxcatcher's pace; slow indeed, but never dull or pointless. There's always something in the pages of Chandor's screenplay of this film that jumps to screen in intriguing form. Oscar Isaac is the tour de force effort that completes this film's screenplay as well. Though well written, if this film had cast the wrong person, it would have gotten noticeably less attention and praise. Overall, A Most Violent Year is a great film (moved up to #7 on my favorites of the year) and is definitely worth a ticket considering we are going into February, but there is still a January vibe in the movies.
STORY AND SCRIPT- 18/20
OVERALL: 91/100 (A-)
comments on the screen by nolan lampson.