Andrew Garfield has been locked up in “Spider-Man” world for quite some time now, but he’s used his down time judiciously. He acted alongside the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Death of a Salesman” on Broadway, something he’ll likely never forget, but since he was cast as the cheeky webslinger, Garfield’s only acted in one film. And he’s chosen well with “99 Homes,” the fifth feature-length effort by indie director Ramin Bahrani.
Cherished by the late Roger Ebert and Werner Herzog (who voiced his 2009 short, “Plastic Bag”) Bahrani went slightly mainstream with 2013’s drama "At Any Price," an imperfect but still compelling "Crimes And Misdemeanors"-esque tale set in the heartland of America starring Zac Efron, Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham no less. And while it was his first movie with a name cast, the filmmaker’s intentions were still much the same (and it was easily Quaid’s finest performance in awhile).
And so Bahrani is back with “99 Homes,” which will make its worldwide premiere at the Venice Film Festival this week and will make its Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September (many are assuming the movie will be at the Telluride Film Festival). Here’s the official synopsis:
Around the world, everyone knows that honest hard work gets you nowhere. In sunny Orlando, Florida, construction worker Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) is evicted from his home by a charismatic, gun-toting real-estate broker Mike Carver (Michael Shannon), and is forced to move his mom (Laura Dern) and young son into a shabby motel. Then, an unexpected opportunity arises and Nash strikes a deal with the devil – he begins working for Carver in a desperate attempt to get his home back. Carver seduces Nash into a risky world of stealing from banks and the government. Nash makes big money; but there’s a cost. On Carver’s orders, Nash must evict honest families from their homes – just as it happened to him. With his conscience tearing him apart and an incredibly lucrative 1,000 home deal on the line, Nash will have to choose between destroying an honest man for the ultimate win or going against Carver and finding redemption
Here’s the director’s statement:
The 99% is a global phenomenon. The common man around the world can no longer do hard honest work and expect to thrive against systematic greed and corruption. When faced by the firing squad, does a man join hands with his executioner? Is there any choice to make other than a deal with the devil?
The movie also co-stars Laura Dern and character actors like J.D. Evermore ("Django Unchained," "12 Years a Slave") and Tim Guinee ("Iron Man," "Homeland"), along with Noah Lomax ("Safe Haven"). And it certainly seems to harken back to the 2008 economic calamity, the bail out and the subprime mortgage crisis that followed.
Scored by Antony Partos ("The Rover"), the drama is 112 minutes long and certainly high on many most anticipated lists. No release date or distributor has been found, but surely it’s going to get snapped up quick (and since Sony Pictures Classics had Bahrani’s last picture, expect them to make a strong bid too). Watch the first look below and let us know what you think.