99 Homes

2015

Drama /

5
IMDb Rating 7.2

Synopsis


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112 min
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English
23.976 (23976/1000) fps /
112 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lucasnochez 10

&quot;America doesn&#39;t bail out losers. America bails out winners.&quot; How is that for an American dream motto? This axiom, among many others presented in the film, is the foundation as the blood- splattered frames of Ramin Bahrani&#39;s latest offering begin to roll.<br/><br/>The blood is from a homeowner who&#39;d rather kill himself than be kicked out of his home by Realtor Rick Carver (Michael Shannon). More of a preying vulture than empathetic human being, Carver shows no sympathy for the man who took his life instead of giving up his family home – an attitude trait we believe he has for everyone.<br/><br/>Bahrani, a prolific American independent director, is known for focusing on strong characters. Highly secretive and mostly broken individuals, the challenges and obstacles many of his protagonists face are mapped out and executed in unique, but usually tragic ways. His expertise is focusing more on the formula of their progression than the final outcome. With 99 Homes, Bahrani switches gears, focusing more on the narrative and development of the story, rather than his deep, often slow, evolution of memorable characters.<br/><br/>Thankfully, Bahrani doesn&#39;t exactly abandon ship in his character building philosophy with his main protagonist and antagonist in the film. He is able to put more focus on his narrative and visual style here, thanks to actor Shannon, who helps maintain the flow of Carver as well as the people around him. For the most part, character-driven directors find it difficult to give all creative energy to their actors, especially after building up a filmography that shows his obsession with leading his main men. But with an actor like Shannon, one of the most confident and reliable actors working today, Bahrani needs not have this fear of relinquishing control of character development. In fact, Shannon&#39;s understanding of Carver&#39;s journey and discreet choices of dialogue, begs the question if Bahrani could have achieved this character development on his own.<br/><br/>Bahrani&#39;s protagonist is Dennis Nash, played wonderfully by Andrew Garfield. Garfield, who was one of the few fortunate Hollywood actors to grace the stage with the legendary Philip Seymour Hoffman on the Broadway stint of Death of a Salesman, seems to have absorbed much of the acting genius of the late Hoffman. Holding his own against a larger than life acting force that is Shannon, Garfield&#39;s Nash allows himself to feed off Carver&#39;s greed and sinisterly convincing monologues with scenes of heart-wrench, grit and sensitivity.<br/><br/>99 Homes shouldn&#39;t be described as the typical tour-de-force, but more of a tour-de-fact cinematic achievement. The filmmaker, whose adamant cinematic attitude is almost non- apologetic on-screen, choosing to highlight a truly sad time in American history. Set in Florida in 2010, when homes were being repossessed by the bank for every chime of the clock on the wall, the film shows a raw portrait of every family&#39;s worst nightmare; a moment of complete vulnerability and uncertainty–being left on the side of the road, with all you&#39;re worldly possessions sitting on the lawn.<br/><br/>As troubling as it sounds, some of the best scenes of the film are when people are evicted from their homes. Beginning with Nash, his mother Lynn Nash (Laura Dern) and son Connor (Noah Lomax), and ranging from young, old, non-English speaking, accepting and manic, the film shows the different shades of people, sometimes dangerous and always desperate.<br/><br/>Nash, a general contractor who never sits at the wayside, becomes a true character of action. The determination of Dennis Nash, thanks to the convincing acting of Garfield, is a little glimmer of hope that man is able to triumph over the recklessness of society&#39;s actions, but at a severe cost. Nash&#39;s choices and inner struggle is a sharp and dangerous double-edged sword. Nash is a truly tormented moral character who, through his journey of self-discovery, wealth and pain, always draws on the most basic human elements. The biggest question Bahrani leaves audiences with is, &quot;what would you do if you were left in the same situation?&quot;<br/><br/>Possibly the most commercial of his work thus far, the director of Chop Shop, Man Push Cart, At Any Cost and my personal favourite Goodbye Solo, does a magnificent job of juggling the moral and ethical lines of his characters, allowing the audience to ask itself the same questions the characters are asking themselves as the film progresses. This fine element of 99 Homes keeps Bahrani&#39;s tradition of bustlingly tragic and anguished characters alive with vivid, exciting, and mostly unpredictable results.<br/><br/>99 Homes is one of the most complete and appealing films of Bahrani&#39;s career. Engaging enough for causal movie-goers, and enough to chew for veteran nit-picking cinephiles, the film is easily one of the most compelling films at TIFF.<br/><br/>Garfield may be know for his role as afflicted teen Peter Parker or Spider-Man by many, while audiences may know Shannon best for his villainous turn as General Zod in the recent Superman reboot Man of Steel. The best part about watching 99 Homes is analyzing these men, and seeing them transform before our eyes into the demons that haunt the streets and doorsteps of everyday people. Sheltered in our own little seats and watching the unfortunate tragedy unfold on-screen, this compassionate slice of other people&#39;s reality is one of the most engaging features of 2014. Founded on concrete performances, sturdy direction and a narrative with a good roof on its head, 99 Homes is built to last.

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Reviewed by Nerj 7

I saw this at TIFF 2014 where it seemed to be received pretty positively.<br/><br/>Kudos to those involved with casting as every actor/actress, from the leading Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon, right down to those who were only in one or two scenes, did a really good job. There were a lot of confrontational emotions in this movie and the actors/actresses did a great job of getting me to empathize with their characters. I had a hard time believing that Laura Dern&#39;s young-looking character was Garfield&#39;s character&#39;s mother, but she acted well.<br/><br/>I felt that Bahrani struck a good balance between showing the audience Garfield&#39;s character&#39;s life with his family VS his professional life.<br/><br/>I found the music throughout the movie to be pretty appropriate. The music chosen for each scene complimented the dramatic tone of what was happening.<br/><br/>There were two things about the movie that bothered me enough to pull me out of the tense drama temporarily: (1) There were a couple of big coincidental moments (one of which is directly related to the final scene) that seemed a bit too fate-like. For a movie with the very real backdrop of the US housing market crash, and such believable characters, these unrealistic occurrences seemed out of place. (2) At one point, a montage format is used to quickly show Garfield&#39;s character go through a bunch of different exchanges with other characters. This quick cutting from scenario to scenario is a missed opportunity to fully immerse us viewers in a couple of heart-wrenching moments. As a result, the mixed emotions that I recognized I was supposed to feel weren&#39;t as strong as they could have been.<br/><br/>Overall, this drama was well done. I think it could have been better in some areas, but it was still a nice watch.

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Reviewed by alex wolfman 7

Say what you want about America but money is a very big part of our society. It&#39;s a free-for-all pursuit of money and it so helps with having a good family background. If you can&#39;t afford college to get your degree or don&#39;t have a career after high school, you are on your own. It&#39;s like high school all over where you have to find yourself again.<br/><br/>99 Homes has many themes pertinent to today&#39;s society. From the idea of money and how to handle your money and also the banking system, it&#39;s an accurate image of our society today. Who knows how it will hold up twenty years down the road due to how society is going to change but for now 99 Home knows exactly what&#39;s going in the world now and tells it&#39;s story in a very original way.<br/><br/>Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) is an unemployed construction worker who gets evicted along with his family from his home by businessman and con-man Rick Carver (Michael Shannon). As a way of getting his childhood home back, Dennis joins Rick&#39;s business team not knowing what lies ahead for him.<br/><br/>As most kids after high school, I didn&#39;t have a plan for myself and college was my only option. I was lucky enough to get a good job at a grocery store that will be able to support me though college. Even though I had my differences with my hometown, growing up in one of the richest towns in Michigan had it&#39;s perks also. It&#39;s so hard and heartbreaking to watch Dennis not have money or a name to himself. He must support his mother Lynn (Laura Dern) and his son Conner (Noah Lomax) through only construction jobs. Then you have someone like Carver who&#39;s at the different end of the spectrum and doing everything right for himself but he is someone who makes his big dough from forcing people out of their own homes and in the wrong way. As we expect, Michael Shannon, always plays a determined and powerful character and he is able to captivate every character that he plays. That said, Andrew Garfield&#39;s performance is even more impressive. He is able to express through emotions the things his character is dealing with and he takes you on a ride with him. He plays a character who does not know how to save his family and who is wondering if the scheme he is involved in is the right thing to do. His morals and values are being severely tested.<br/><br/>Another example of the money ideas at play here is the setting. The movie is set in Orlando, Florida, with some of the biggest houses on the street sitting next to the smallest houses where the evictions happen. It is such an accurate image again of how different the concept &quot;money&quot; is for everyone. Some people are set for life where others are living paycheck to paycheck. This film seems to know both sides of that so well.<br/><br/>99 Homes is a film that the main topic is eviction and really this should have been dull ride. How this film is able make this topic interesting and thought-provoking is very impressive. 99 Homes is so off the map on this topic but in a good way.<br/><br/>99 Homes is a character study with Oscar quality performances especially from Garfield. It is also societal story and commentary, a story of determination and one of the top films of the year all rolled in one. There are literally are 99 reasons to go see this movie.

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