99 Homes (2014)

99 Homes
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Writer: Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Clancy Brown, Tim Guinee, Noah Lomax
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 2.11.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) is trying his best to keep the family home together where he lives with his mother Lynn (Laura Dern) and his son Connor (Noah Lomax). But work has been sparse and now they are threatened with foreclosure. After a last attempt at court, Dennis finds the police and bank representative Rick Carver (Michael Shannon) in front of his house, putting him and his family on the street. Dennis is at a complete loss, but by chance he actually finds a job with Rick who doesn’t exactly work above the line in all places and rakes in quite a profit.

99 Homes is a well made film that is quite clear in its criticism of capitalism – which is much appreciated. But it’s also a film that is a little too hopeless for my taste.

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Chop Shop (2007)

Chop Shop
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Writer: Ramin Bahrani, Bahareh Azimi
Cast: Alejandro Polanco, Isamar Gonzales, Rob Sowulski, Carlos Zapata, Ahmad Razvi
Part of: Real America

Ale (Alejandro Polanco) takes care of himself basically, despite his young age. He is constantly trying to make more money and jumps at any chance. When he is offered a job and a place to stay in Rob’s (Rob Sowulski) chop shop, Ale asks his sister Izzy (Isamar Gonzales) to join him and also finds a job for her. Ale wants to buy an old food truck and run it together with Izzy, which would finally give them some independence and security. But things aren’t that easy.

Chop Shop shows us a side of the US, we don’t get to see very often and it does so with an excellent script, good pacing and a lot of sensitivity. I liked it a lot.

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