99 Homes – 4 out of 5
When the bubble burst on the housing market, it was an ugly scene. Banks were scooping up people’s homes like it was going out of style and entire families were left dangling in the breeze without a clue as to what to do. I don’t own a home but I know what it is like to suddenly find yourself scrambling for a place to live so the story to 99 Homes definitely had some elements that I, and pretty much anyone, can relate to. Add in some Michael Shannon and his intimidating acting prowess and you have a recipe for a movie that I wanted to see…and one that didn’t disappoint and definitely left a mark.
|I'll be honest, all I needed to know in order to see this was that Shannon|
was in the film.
Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) is a struggling construction worker trying to make ends meet and provide for his son Connor (Noah Lomax) and his mother Lynn (Laura Dern) while his home is on the verge of foreclosure. Doing everything he can to keep the home he grew up in, the family is horrified to find the police and real estate agent Rick Carver (Michael Shannon) at their door and telling them that they must vacate their home. Forced to live in a small hotel room, Dennis ends up running into Carver again and is, surprisingly, offered a job due to his construction skills. Eventually, he becomes Carver’s protégé and he begins to learn the horrifying and heartbreaking business that Carver is invested in—but all in an effort to buy back his home. However, do the ends justify the means as Dennis heads down the path of the enemy who took his home away?
|Spider-Man and Zod together and flippin' houses.|
99 Homes is a fairly heavy and methodically pace drama. It does a tremendous job of exploring a man’s fall and attempts to use the system that robbed him of his fortune in order to return to grace. The story never tries to rush what you are seeing and the evolution of Dennis Nash’s journey felt so organic and natural. With its slower approach, this movie ran the risk of dragging at parts but this never arrives because everything seems to be folding at the right pace so it is able to maintain intrigue and kept my interest. Essentially put, the story and plot are fantastically developed and explored and really make this movie something that hits home and delivers exceptionally well. However, it was the performances above everything else that really had me blown away with this one.
|Shannon is such a badass he makes vaping look cool!|
|Dern is awesome in everything she does.|
It's just a fact.
Michael Shannon is no stranger to my admiration of his craft. I think the man is incredible and knows how to balance his natural intensity and deliver it to the precise dosage for the role he is in. This film is no exception as he masters the art of being a callous, unfeeling real estate agent who puts his desire for wealth and success over the reality that his job costs people their homes. Additionally, even though her role is small, I really enjoyed Laura Dern (she’s always great too, by the way). The weakness and the general sense of confusion over what her character is going to do and where she is going to go next is fantastic and seeing how she reacts to knowledge that her son is now working for the man who took their home from them is incredible. Finally, I was exceptionally blown away with the emotional-powerful performance that Andrew Garfield delivered. Everything from the little moments of him silently trying to figure out his next move and battling breaking down to the times where he can no longer hold everything in was absolutely stellar. His portrayal of this character felt so natural that it was easy to get lost in his performance.
|I can't even come up with a dumb joke for this caption because Garfield's ultra-|
realistic portrayal was so astounding.
99 Homes has a tremendous cast and a story that isn’t afraid to take its time and yet never feels like it’s dragging its heels as it unfolds. I was incredibly impressed with the realistic and improvised feel of the dialogue and found it was easy to engage with the drama and emotion of the story and characters. Replay value on this might be low because it is a pretty heavy movie but, overall, I was very enthralled with this feature.