Eye For Film >> Movies >> 99 Homes (2014) Film Review
Reviewed by: Richard Mowe
Nobody can fail to be touched by the recurring scenes in Ramin Bahrani’s latest film in which families, most of them middle-class, are forced from their homes because they are unable to keep up with mortgage payments.
The notices are served without any warning and within minutes they are out on the street and under threat of trespass if they try to go back inside the house in which they have lived for years.
The first family we see suffering the indignity comprises Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield), a hard-working guy in the construction industry who lives with his mother (Laura Dern) and younger brother (Noah Lomax). He grew up in the suburban house in Orlando but the family have fallen behind in meeting the monthly bills.
Michael Shannon steps in to the frame as the manipulative real estate broker Rick Carver, who eases them out with just a few essentials before his crew move in to secure the house.
Desperate, Garfield’s character eventually finds work with the estate broker who took his house who entices him into schemes to embezzle money from the government. Dennis soon embraces his new task with his own crew not only forcing evictions but also stealing air conditioners and water pumps from the empty houses and selling them at a profit.
The narrative is paced with the urgency of a thriller while the setting of sizeable mansions full of unnecessary consumer durables adds to the potency of the theme of the dispossessed trying to make sense of their fate at the hands of successive governments who have favoured policies friendly to Wall Street rather than ordinary citizens.
Audiences are bound to recognise the situations confronted by the diverse families involved across the economic divide and to respond to the sense of anger at the film’s heart. The performances from Garfield and Dern are spot-on while Shannon’s Carver us a true monster spiced with malice and charm.Reviewed on: 08 Sep 2015
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