99 Homes – review #sydfilmfest

Wow. Billed as an intelligent thriller, 99 Homes is more of a true-to-life horror story. It focuses on the home property foreclosures by banks in the US in 2008 during the GFC. It is powerfully disturbing for its duration. I think I just sat there with my mouth open in disbelief, whilst knowing that all this actually happened. As far as I’m concerned director Ramin Bahrani deserves all the plaudits being showered upon him. The writing is just so brilliant and Ramin worked with Amir Naderi and Bahareh Azimi on this as well.

The film’s hero Dennis Nash is very well played by Andrew Garfield (who I noticed is also an executive producer for the film) and he is left with the dilemma of either looking after his family or doing what might be morally more correct. We learn, however, that this may not simply be a clear decision between the good side and the dark side. The dark side is represented by Michael Shannon’s brilliant portrayal of real estate agent Rick Nash. We are set up from the start to hate him, but this situation is soon complicated because he seems to be doing the right thing by Nash. And he delivers a couple of brilliant monologues that convincingly explain his motivation and his actions.

Ramin was present at this screening and mentioned the score that was composed by Antony Partos and Matteo Zingales. That too is great and helps set up some chilling moments of the film.

Go and see it! 4/5

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