99 Homes sees writer/director Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Goodbye Solo) move into the mainstream with a hard-hitting social drama that’s getting critics all excited at the major film festivals this summer.
Starring Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network) and Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Take Shelter), the film is set in 2010 and revolves around two men; Rick Carver (Shannon), a ruthless court-appointed real estate agent for homes that have been repossessed by the bank, and blue-collar worker Dennis Nash (Garfield), a single dad who lives with his son and mother (played by Laura Dern) but loses their home when Carver unceremoniously throws them out. When Carver offers Nash building work in the evictee’s houses, and the possibility of a return to his cherished home, Nash decides to swallow his pride, and live with the consequences.
Garfield and Shannon have both been highly praised for their nuanced performances in this complex and refreshing story. Certainly, this is not a buddy movie - Carver and Nash may work together, Nash might even come to admire his mentor, but they will never become friends.
Bahrani, perhaps best known for his realistic examination of the human condition when faced with financial difficulties (such as Man Push Cart, 2005, which follows a former Pakistani star forced to sell coffee from a cart in New York), suffered a slight fall from grace with his last film, At Any Price, seen by many as somewhat of a disappointment. Here, however, he is back on top form with this highly relevant tale for today’s fragile post-recession world.