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First Look at JC Chandor’s A Most Violent Year

Linda Ge’s Up and Comers just posted the scans from EW’s preview with the first look at Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year.

The year is 1981 and Isaac and Chastain play married couple Abel and Anna. He’s a “principled businessman” but finds himself needing to get his hands a little dirty as his gas company runs up against the criminal underworld. Luckily, Chastain’s Anna is no demure housewife and may just do what needs to be done when her husband gets cold feet. “There are certain things Abel won’t do, so she thinks maybe she has to,” Chastain tells EW of her character.

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20 Comments

  1. Kane
    May 1, 2014

    Chandor is on a role and quickly becoming one of my favorite voices in film. I think this will be a hit.

  2. Bryce Forestieri
    May 1, 2014

    What an explosive couple! And with Chandor, a feel of importance and seriousness is guaranteed even if it’s as shallow and grandstanding as “modern” cinema gets, he makes compelling first viewings with a lot of “sound effects”. I’m there his first two efforts were cool in the theater. He should find competent cinematographers for once, Bradford Young is very run-of-the-mill (and I liked PARIAH).

  3. Bryce Forestieri
    May 1, 2014

    But never mind, I’m going positive this year so I should be open minded about this picture. I know many readers hare fans of his highly-affected shorthand style.

  4. JPNS Viewer
    May 1, 2014

    I did read that Javier Bardem [sp] had been set to play a lead and actually joined the filming before somehow being replaced by the current lead actor.

    I know the current male lead has got some fans here. But I need to say this if not proven otherwise: I could have felt more vibes with both Bardem and the talented Jessica Chastain co-starring than the latter with another; I’m hoping there is a valid reason for Bardem’s departure.

    On a side note: Also wondering what’s happening with Eleanor Rigby’s fate concerning its global release. (According to the latest Wiki, “a two hour cut will premiere in the Un Certain Regard section of 2014 Cannes.”. But that seems to be the most updated one as far as the film’s screening schedule other than 2013 TIFF goes.)

  5. Jamie
    May 1, 2014

    Bradford Young is a very talented cinematographer.

  6. Igor Sousa
    May 1, 2014

    I don’t normally quote this kind of words but they’re both really hot.

  7. steve50
    May 1, 2014

    This tops my list at the moment. Can’t wait to see these two – three, counting Chandor – work together.

    It’s got a nice Macbeth vibe, judging from the promo, so should be a new side of Chastain. Isaac can do just about anything (as can she), so this will be fun.

  8. James
    May 1, 2014

    One of my most anticipated. Chandor is a really interesting filmmaker who doesn’t seem to make the same movie twice.

  9. Princess of Peace
    May 1, 2014

    Bardem left the project because of creative differences with Chandor on the direction of the film. Also, Charlize Theron was offered Chastain’s role but turned it down. Oddly enough, Bardem and Theron are going to be in Sean Penn’s The Last Face.

    I liked both of Chandor’s first two films and have good expectations for this one. He is an interesting filmmaker.

  10. GoOnNow
    May 1, 2014

    A talented director + not 1 but 2 Juilliard-trained leads, nothing can go wrong!

    It’s still too early to tell, but I feel like Amy Adams has to be the shining perfection of acting if she wants to take away Chastain’s statuette this year.

    Jessica has 3 meaty leading roles in 2014:

    - Miss Julie (Liv Ullmann directing! The last time she directed a star, we had Cate Blanchett give us one of the greatest Blanche Dubois of all time, if not the greatest, see those Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda reactions!).
    - Eleanor Rigby
    - A Most Violent Year

  11. JPNS Viewer
    May 2, 2014

    Princess of Peace, thanks for your info.

    For what it’s worth, [I said it by default – no offense – that is, assuming it’s true in re “creative differences”] whether or not it has not been reported by the media or even by the very own words of certain industrial types themselves (to Princess), the bottom line is that in a sense it didn’t say much about what #really had happened behind the scene.

    If that’s true, at least I’m hoping — it matters to me [myself also an artist of sort] — that it stemmed from all parties’ desire to have striven for the best in terms of creativity rather than, for instance, who otherwise would have gotten better lines, more lengthy time, etc. had they fought harder enough; that is, rather than otherwise having satisfied one’s own ego.
    That being said, if among others it basically also derived, naturally if so, from lack of chemistry between the two leads (the characters), then I’d understand. (Sometimes, it just happened that way.)

  12. phantom
    May 2, 2014

    After Bardem dropped out due to creative differences, Chastain fought for Isaac whom she met at Juilliard apparently and since he was at the time flying high with Inside Llewyn Davis, Chandor probably didn’t need all that convincing to begin with.

    JPNS Viewer

    Good news, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby starring Jessica Chastain got a US release date yesterday : September 26. Sure, it could be more Oscar-friendly but Weinstein definitely gives it a shot unlike The Immigrant (May 16) and Tracks (May 23), two festival acquisitions from last year also with strong lead female performances (Cotillard and Mia Wasikowska respectively).

    Then again, Harvey may not want to take focus away from Marion Cotillard ‘s Lady Macbeth that could be an instant classic (Fassbender is the male lead and Weinstein is expected to release the film late this year), and he also has to schedule at least three more films with four potentially strong Best Actress contenders (Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara ,Nicole Kidman ‘s Grace of Monaco and Michelle Williams‘s Suite Francaise) ON TOP OF his other leading ladies whose films are already on the schedule : Keira Knightley ‘s Begin Again (July 4 – though she could have a better shot in supporting with the baity drama The Imitation Game…also distributed by TWC); Melissa McCarthy ‘s St. Vincent (October 24 – buzzy asgoodasitgetsesque bittersweet comedy script AND it was moved from April to the middle of Oscar season so it is probably at least decent) and Weinstein’s best bet in Best Actress : Amy Adams in Big Eyes (December 25 – prime release date AND it was directed by Tim Burton).

    Bottom line : Weinstein has A LOT of potential Best Actress winners on his 2014 slate… and all that before any big festival acqusitions (Cannes, Venice, Toronto). Last year, after only a 7 minute reel, he fought tooth and nail for Philomena at Cannes and we all know how well that turned out (BP-BA nod and 100M worldwide Box Office).

  13. Bryce Forestieri
    May 2, 2014

    Indispensable post, Phantom! I just wish more of this projects were being championed by distributors who gave a shit about artistic integrity.

    And totally OT, but I fully endorse this. Everyone’s missing out:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/05/01/fox_enlisted_television_veterans_ptsd

  14. GoOnNow
    May 2, 2014

    @Phantom

    Keira Knightley
    Nicole Kidman (Grace of Monaco)
    Marion Cotillard (The Immigrant)
    & Mia Wasikowska (Tracks)

    are already on the funeral side of the Oscar season. I really can’t see these titles as Best Actress Nod earners.

    I think Harvey will be pushing for a 2014 Carol release cuz the immediate afterglow Blanchett effect guarantees his film an important Oscar nomination.

    Macbeth could go either way, I mean… it’s Shakespeare at the Oscars. Also, Marion could go supporting and let’s face it, after all the hype surrounding all of her projects in the past she never managed to score an Oscar nomination. All she has is that 1 nom – 1 win combo.

    Amy Adams is not helped by the fact that it’s a Tim Burton movie, Tim Burton’s movie is helped by the fact that it has Amy Adams.

  15. Pepper
    May 2, 2014

    Yes, Bradford Young, 2-time Sundance Film Festival Award winner in cinematography. What a pedestrian choice. How odd that some are already pegging him a potential Oscar nominee for this film.

  16. phantom
    May 2, 2014

    Bryce

    Yep, that’s why I have such a lovehate relationship with Weinstein. I love how he can turn little indies into forces to reckon with both Box Office and Oscar-wise, he is probably the only one in the industry who can pull that off on a regular basis therefore forever changed the landscape of indie filmmaking… then again I hate how he knows his stuff well enough to be able to manipulate voters into questionable BP wins and nods.

  17. Bryce Forestieri
    May 3, 2014

    Still no podcast. Wow.

  18. Jason B.
    May 4, 2014

    I’ll give Chandor some credit. He’s definitely improving with each film since the almost unbearable MARGIN CALL. ALL IS LOST was considerably more interesting, but had an underwhelming impact for me. It was a bit predictable and not particularly challenging. But, give him another 5 films and the right screenwriter and he might make something masterful.

  19. SallyinChicago
    May 4, 2014
  20. JPNS Viewer
    May 4, 2014

    @phantom [May 2, 2014 4:30 am (US)]

    Thanks for the update re Eleanor Rigby.
    Glad to hear that the film has finally been slated to be on general release in US.

    As for la Cotillard, I’ve got nothing but big big love for her. She’s talented and beautiful. However, given the challenging subject, that is, Shakespeare, not to mention her noticeable accent [**no offense], [myself a #stranger, too] I’m curious as to how the French beauty will find a way to deliver.

    (**Normally, I love hearing almost everything French, including the English language spoken with the beautiful French accent [the thicker the better]. But this is Shakespeare . . . . )

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