Accord Yourself In The Chaos

A Most Violent Year (2014)
A Review By Ben Hunter
5 Out Of 5 Stars


Accord yourself in the chaos of this violent year and become a better person because of it!


New York City 1981, known as one of the “most violent years” in the city’s history, Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is a sophisticated business owner about to purchase property to expand his oil business.  With the violence and hijacking that ensues amongst his drivers, Morales’ wife Anna (Jessica Chastain) insists on fighting fire with fire.  Under scrutiny and heaps of pressure from his competitors, whom Abel is certain the hijackings are deriving, and assistant D.A. Lawrence (David Oyelowo) who is determined to expose the illegalities from the oil business and is certain Morales is a participant, Abel keeps his morality in tact and always retains his good natured character.  This manifests as the story progresses. 

Under the gun, and in some cases, in a slight literal sense, Morales struggles to keep his family and business afloat, contesting to keep his head above water the truthful way with integrity, honor, and pride; or take the much easier route and resort to contaminating his empire with the corruption of this most violent year.

Oscar Isaac has earned my respect times one million.  He significantly brought this character, Abel, to life.  Talk about a classy guy!  Abel is the kind of person I strive to be daily.  He’s a sophisticated, educated, carries himself very highly, works hard for his things, for his family, and scuffles no matter what the cost to see that his family and business are taken care of.  Talk about a classy guy!  His chemistry with Jessica Chastain (one of my girls) was spot on!  Naturally I took to Chastain, but once the initial hype of seeing my girl on screen dyed down, I realized she was a great fit as well and her work with Isaac was nicely accomplished.  I instantly liked this guy, and when the official moment arrived to like him, I knew my feelings and instincts were well placed.  The writer in me was happy to see that this place in the story, which usually happens somewhere in the beginning, happened more towards the end.  Which pushes the boundaries of innovation and creativity and advances art, I was happy about that!

This story immediately drew me in.  I attended an early morning screening and was still waking up.  My body clearly stated, “If this isn’t worthy of our attention, we’re going to get some GOOD sleep these next couple of hours!”  I thought I was going to do just that at one point and then the story picked right up as it should have and there was no question anymore for, “I’m witnessing an amazing story!”  I couldn’t find anything wrong with it.  It was grounded in reality and gave me a realistic depiction of this actual time in history.  The story gave me just enough information as I needed at each point along the way to keep my interest in continuing.  When I received just enough information to form my own conclusions about how this all could possibly end, that’s when it did just that.  I left feeling so satisfied and in total agreement about how these events were relayed. 

The mood conveyed through cinematography, editing, and more importantly in my book, through the music, all played their part in contributing to keeping my interest.  This is definitely something to experience and accord yourself all throughout and become a better person because of it! 

A Most Violent Year
Drama, 125 Minutes, R
Written & Directed by: J.C. Chandor
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks, Elyes Gabel, Catalina Sandino Moreno 

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