Yeah, go ahead and soak in that image right there. I know, it's fucking beautifully constructed, the depth, the color palette, I mean the attention to detail is just exceptional. Whats more is that the detail is there throughout the entire film. The filmmakers didn't miss a thing and that adds up to a world so visceral I got chills while watching this movie. You can see the title character, Abel Morales (played by Oscar Issac) and over his left shoulder a pristine C126 Mercedes Benz. I'm not sure what year it is exactly so I won't guess given that I'll end up getting made fun of for missing some minute detail that would have clued me in as to the exact time and date it rolled off the assembly line. In the upper right hand corner of the frame you can see a Cadillac DeVille exiting the parking lot, just one of many classic American cars seen in the film.
Now there are many, many more shots that feature vehicles of intrigue, such as the Coupe DeVille driven by Andrew Walsh (played by Albert Brooks) and W126 SEL driven by Anna Morales (played by Jessica Chastain) but this is all I could pull from the trailer. To truly appreciate how good this film is you have to go see it in a theatre, the price of admission is totally worth whatever the going rate in your town is. Yes, this applies to those of you living in New York City, I know $20 is steep for a movie but trust me, the theatrical experience is that good, just look at these screen captures!
So aside from having a director with an eye for detail when it comes to cars and clothes, does this film have a killer story to back up the visual feast? Well, sorta. It's not the most intense plot but it's certainly better than most of the regurgitated crap out there. Granted, a movie about the home heating business in New York City set in 1981 might not sound like riveting stuff but that's exactly why this film is so great. It takes a genre that's been done to death, flips it on its head and tells a story in a way that had me fully engaged for the duration. I wouldn't say the film is slow so much as it is appropriately paced and goddamn is it suspensful.
When I realized it had to be getting close to the end I was bummed because I just wanted more of that world, more of the characters. I would love to see a sequel and it's totally possible in terms of having places to take the story. So go see it, tell friends to go see it because it needs love via word of mouth. Critical praise is all well and good but for more films like this to get made, there needs to be butts in the seats.
Vehicle Selections: 10/10
A Most Violent Year: 99/100