Monday, February 2, 2015

A Most Violent Year: Slick. And Oily?

Abel Moarales (Oscar Issac) is an ambitious, smart, hard-working businessman. He's worked his way up and now owns an oil-delivery company. The year in question is 1981, and he's on the brink of expansion. But everything is working against him.

He's being investigated by a suspicious district attorney.
His deliverymen are being attacked.
His oil is being stolen.
He is threatened in his home.

But he's a tough guy in his own right. And is matched by his scrappy wife, Jessica Chastain, his partner in every sense of the term.

She's part of the problem with this well-acted and filmed movie. We know that she's the daughter of a mafia kingpin and despite her Armani wardrobe, she hasn't really upgraded herself. There still the Brooklyn accent, the declasse manicure and the expletive-laced language.

And while we're at it, what about hubby? Is he the honorable businessman he purports to be, or is he a crook as the DA believes? Or is he just a little bit crooked? And can you be just a little crooked?

How moviegoers feel about him is important in their investment in the outcome. But the movie doesn't bother to let us know.

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