99 Homes (2014)


I have to admit that I only picked this up because of Michael Shannon, not only do I have a thing for him, he plays some very interesting characters and so without knowing anything about this, other than it’s a modern drama, I had high hopes. and it turns out that it’s actually quite a charming, distressing and an emotive film.

Spideman is having a rather hard time with the bank and the film opens with him trying to get an extension on the bank foreclosing on his home, sadly things don’t go to plan and pretty soon the police and the owner of the property are banging down the door and evicting the family, which comprises of Spider Man/Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) his mother (Laura Dern) and son. After the distress and embarrassment they are soon in a motel along with a host of other people who are in the same situation. After calling around and trying to drum up work and through a strange twist of fate Spiderman ends up working for he’s very man who kicked him out of his home Rick Carver  (Michael Shannon) and soon ends up getting twisted up in the corruption of the US housing laws.

Michael Shannon has this quiet nature about him, sometimes it doesn’t seem like he’s doing much, but he’s a smoldering gem, he doesn’t “need” to do a lot but there is just something about him which conveys a lot of deep emotions. Spiderman was equally as quiet but both played off each other quite well. It’s always interesting to see a rum ole character instruct and be a step ahead of the game in front of a newbie, the insights and revelations of their “scene” is always captivating, their perception and strength of character is always profound.

Maintains the taut thrilling feeling throughout while conveying one of the most devastating events in anyone’s life

You spend a lot of the time seeing through the actors eyes, at the pain and conflict that they are creating, both Shannon and Spider man spend a lot of time throwing people out of their houses, and while it gets a little repetitive each case is quite different but ultimately the audience ends up looking these people in the face, it’s raw and powerful. As both of the main characters get to know each other they start to display more flaws and cracks, Shannon skips from house to house with a family that he seems very detached from, Spider man spends less and less time with his son and ends up lying to the people who he loves the most. There are some particularly compelling scenes around this point, one is a great reflection shot where Spiderman is shown sprawled out after a night of regretful drinking but appears to be afloat in the pool.

I can’t say that I had heard of the methodical and detailed director Ramin Bahrani before but after seeing this skillfully crafted film I’m going to have to investigate his previous works, but as a fourth film unless he’s jumped leaps and bounds I think I might be in for a treat.

Overall a lot can be said about this taut narrative, not only are there timeless arguments about good and bad, and how the perspective of right and wrong can be skewed with a little bit of persuasion, similar to Die Welle – The Wave (2008) where students who didn’t believe that a nazi regime could ignite again, then find themselves becoming part of the a school experiment cult, you see Spiderman quickly turning into the man who knocked on his very own door.

Filled with smooth powerful acting, this modern economic parable slowly unfolds, where the righteous and betrayed soon come head to head until intelligence and compassion turns the tables on everyone involved.
It was througly enjoyable and discloses a lot of underhanded and shifty behaviour, it details a very moving story of a young man who loser sight, for most of the movie his persuit is to get his home back for his family and he quickly loses sight when blinded by a ruthless man, who like a devil arrives as a hero with great promises of security.


Rating 7/10

L Tutoring movies, Economical Films, Homeless Flicks~
5B Michael Shannon, Andrew Garfield

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