Friday, October 2, 2015

99 Homes Movie Review

Andrew Garfield & Michael Shannon (r) star in 99 Homes

Cash for Keys

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Set amidst the backdrop of the 2008 housing market catastrophe, Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) a hard-working and honest man, can't save his family home despite his best efforts. Thrown to the streets with alarming precision by real estate shark Mike Carver (Michael Shannon) Dennis, out of work and luck, is given a unique opportunity - to join Carver's crew and put others through the harrowing ordeal done to him in order to earn back what's his. Delicately training his eye on the rigorous details, the reliably astute Ramin Bahrani imbues his characters with icy complexity to achieve his compassionate portrait of a man whose integrity has become ensnared within an all-too-relevant American crisis. With precision and care, Bahrani's provocative character study applies all the cinematic tools at his disposal to explore the ethical dilemma at the heart of man's struggle to reach higher - by whatever means necessary.

Shannon warns, "Don't get emotional over real estate." Easier said than done, especially in Bahrani's 99 Homes... a taut thriller, compelling/good enough to make you consider renting again. Shannon's fantastic (a shoe-in for a Teacher's Pet nom) but Garfield and Laura Dern are almost as impressive... one of 2015's best casts, in fact. You can cut the intensity with a knife (even the soundtrack is haunting) and Bahrani keeps his foot on the gas to the very end. It's sobering to a fault, but it's also scary, spellbinding and timely... a "fucked-up situation" that's still (unconventionally) beautiful to watch.