99 Homes

“Andrew Garfield. Michael Shannon. ‘Nuff said. For me at least. I’m assuming you’ll need a little more to go on here.

Okay, so we’re in the middle of the housing crisis, and Garfield is mercilessly evicted by Shannon. Out of work, homeless, and desperate to support his mom and his son, Garfield ends up taking a job with Shannon, displacing other people from their homes. So now he’s facing the moral dilemma of dishing out the same injustice to others, and he’s finding that some of the ways his boss makes money aren’t exactly legit.

October tends to be a month for horror films. Now, while I wouldn’t classify this as such, it is rather scary, in a true life sort of way. The early sequence where cops show up at Garfield’s doorstep, demanding that he vacate is kinda scary because it’s something that actually happens. Watching it play out is so unsettling. For me, I think what really got me was the loud arguments back and forth, and how these helpless people couldn’t even get a word out without being shut down and talked over. I felt my social anxieties tensing up at those interactions, and it was hard to watch. I mean that in the good way as in it was effective.

Unfortunately, the biggest hit against this was that I couldn’t follow half of the schemes Shannon’s duplicitous real estate broker cooked up. I knew he was in the wrong and somehow stood to profit greatly, but I couldn’t follow the logistics of it all. I guess its the same way with how people in those foreclosure situations couldn’t parse out what was happening or what their options were. Again, real life scary.

I knew what to expect from Shannon. We’ve seen him in these type of roles before and he excels at it. For Garfield, this was a much stronger turn that we’ve seen from him in a while. I think he’ll recover from the whole Spiderman fiasco just fine, as long as he keeps on delivering strong performances in substantial films like this one. Without thinking too hard about it, possibly his best performance to date.

I kind of wish I hadn’t been so off balance watching it, getting confused by the details. It was kind of a heavy handed film, and maybe even a little self righteous in its intent, but I did enjoy the performances. For me, that’s usually enough.

99 Homes – \m/ \m/ \m/”

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