By Debbie Elicksen
Two things are for sure after viewing writer and director J.C. Chandler‘s A Most Violent Year: one, I want to see a sequel, and two, I don’t think I can get enough of Oscar Isaac (Abel Morales).
Isaac absolutely owns the screen throughout this crime drama with Jessica Chastain (Anna Morales) not far behind.
Abel Morales struggles to grow his business despite his competitors’ attempts to rob and discredit him, and the police working hard to find a criminal element to indict him on. Meanwhile, his wife Anna pressures him to use her family’s mob connections to seek revenge and get back what he lost. While you can almost sympathize with Anna and secretly wish he would enlist that help, his character is more of an illusive mobster, where you don’t see him engaging or advocating criminal activity, he does seem to exude the same power and respect once he achieves his goal of acquiring a piece of property.
Isaac’s performance has the same intensity and charisma as Al Pacino‘s in The Godfather. You can absolutely see J.C. Chandler making a franchise out of this character.
David Oyelowo (Lawrence), Albert Brooks (Andrew Walsh), and Elyes Gabel (Julien) also star in this 2014 release. I give the film 3.5 stars out of five.