STARRING – Michael Shannon, Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern
DIRECTOR – Ramin Bahrani
99 Homes is now showing at the Garden City Cinema in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.
Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield star in tense and emotional drama 99 Homes, the story of a man driven to working for the man who evicted him from his family home.
Andrew Garfield is single father Dennis Nash who lives with his mother and young son in a house foreclosed on by the bank. After being thrown out onto the street with his Mother and son, they move to a motel and Nash plans to get the family home back.
Michael Shannon is real estate predator Rick Carver, the Gordon Gekko of housing. As usual he gives a compelling performance. His mantra of “Don’t get emotional about real estate” is repeated throughout to Nash but is also said possibly to remind himself.
Carver believes his own hype but during one point in the film when he talks about his father and how “America doesn’t bail out losers” there is a flash of humanity in his eyes that shows, however small, a fragment of shame for what he does. But it’s quickly gone and he’s back to his capitalist rant.
He sees a hard worker in Nash and offers him a job. At first it’s repairs, which turns to stealing air conditioners from homes in order to be reimbursed for the replacements, which leads to a promotion and Nash is now the man evicting people from their homes. A job he doesn’t feel comfortable about but he needs the money to get his house back.
Garfield is perfectly cast as Nash, he’s vulnerable and gives a believable portrayal that you can’t help but sympathise with. Carver exploits that vulnerability and once Nash is in, he’s in. As Carver says “When you work for me, you’re mine.”
99 Homes is a morality tale and it forces you to consider what you would do given the same situation, it’s also a commentary on the corrupt nature of banks, their high interest loans and the lack of support from the courts and government.
The tension is kept high throughout and the acting is excellent, I found myself on the edge of my seat wondering how this was all going to end. On paper the film sounds a little depressing but the quality of the acting pulls you in and keeps you there!
A satisfying watch and one that will provoke discussion I’m sure.
Click the link to book tickets to see 99 Homes at the Garden City Cinema .