Thursday, 29 January 2015

A Most Violent Year (4 Stars)

It's difficult to write anything about this film without giving away spoilers. I'll try to go no further than hint at what happens, but in case this is too much for my readers who still want to see this film in the cinema, stop reading now.

Still with me? Then let's get started.

Abel Morales runs a business selling heating oil. His wife is the daughter of a New York gangster, but he is determined to do everything legally, even though he has competitors who are dubious, to say the least. He's about to seal a deal, expanding his business, but at the same time his trucks are being stolen on the open streets, and the New York district attorney is investigating his company for fraud.

The film trailer is very misleading. It gives the impression that the film's story lasts a year, but it actually all takes place over a period of four weeks in January. It looks like another case of the trailer being made by someone who knew nothing about the film. Is there an industry that makes trailers? That must be an easy way to make money.

The film is slow, much slower than the trailer suggests, but never boring. Frequently during the film we have the impression that the constant pressure will make Abel resort to crime, but he always manages to restrain himself. I couldn't help getting the impression that the fraud investigations are only taking place because the district attorney is crooked, possibly being bribed by one of Abel's competitors, but this is never explicitly stated.

Before I went into the film last night one of the staff told me it's not a very good film because there isn't much violence. That's not a problem for me. I enjoyed it.

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