Tag Archives: Chastain

A Most Violent Year

28 Jan

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac have edgy and steamy chemistry in A Most Violent Year

 Much of director J.C. Chandor’s latest film, A Most Violent Year,lives up to its title. There’s armed hijackings, masked gunmen setting upon an isolated house, and winding car chases. If that’s not enough, it bears the indelible sheen of the films that Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola tapped out during the 70s, where the sudden and brutal eruption of violence became an art form.

A Most Violent Year is set around that time too — the New York City of 1981 — when crime and inflation were at near all-time highs. At the center of such chaos presides Abel Morales (Oscar Issac) a Colombian immigrant who owns an oil and heating company that is no easy beast to wrangle. We never get to see Abel down in the trenches, but we know instantly from his stoic posture, dress-for-success flare, and steely intensity that he’s done his time and earned his post — an assumption that folds back on itself as the story develops.  Continue reading

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them

18 Sep
Jessica Chastain stars as the titular Eleanor Rigby

The notion of there being two sides to every story isn’t a new one. And Ned Benson’s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them isn’t the first film to explore the two perspectives of a couple, even more so if the duo is in turmoil. Right from the start The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them sets the table as the titular Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Conor (James McAvoy), appear to be a perfect couple doing the casual fine-dining thing in a swank New York eatery when they decide to up and split on the bill. It’s not that they can’t afford din-din, it’s just their united expression of freedom, frolic, and a strange sense of foreplay. The scene is short and sweet, then in the next scene, and at some future time, we catch Eleanor (so named affectionately after the Beatles’ song) walking her bike across a bridge. She’s despondent and troubled, and, in a flash, she’s over the rail. It’s a strong visual juxtaposition of how relationships can change, almost seemingly at the drop of a hat.   Continue reading