If you’re surprised by the critical acclaim J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year is receiving, then you obviously haven’t been paying attention to the meteoric rise of both leading stars. While Chandor’s film is a gritty period piece written and directed by a talented individual, it’s Isaac and Chastain who leave audiences on the edge or their seats scene after scene. Between Chastain’s protective wife/mother and Isaac’s forcibly-crooked business owner, these two deliver punchy performances that showcase a commitment to character you just don’t see in every movie these days.
A Most Violent Year is the third film to come from J.C. Chandor, following Margin Call and All Is Lost, but it’s easy to see why people immediately started buzzing after only a few press screenings. While it’s not exactly a gangster piece, there are definite notes coming from 80s crime dramas influenced by corruption and greed, but this is to be expected when exploring what’s statistically remembered as one of New York City’s most violent years – hence the title. This was an easy film to favorably review, but when all was said and done, I ended up recognizing both Chastain and Isaac as the true shining beacons of American cinema, working with a “good” screenplay to make it something “great.”
Even though Chandor’s film was limitedly released in 2014, A Most Violent Year just recently went wide throughout the US, which gave me a chance to catch up with Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain before they put all their interview opportunities behind them. At the film’s press day in NYC, I sat down with the stars to talk about their recent film and focused on how they dove into such amazing roles.
Check out our exclusive video interview to hear the stars talk about their experiences on A Most Violent Year, and be sure to catch the film as it’s now in theatres everywhere!