Jul 19, 2021Nursebob rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
When making a moral decision do we focus more on the consequences of our actions or the “rightness” of the actions themselves? Writer/director J. C. Chandor tackles this age old quandary with an intense drama that zeroes in on ambitious yet virtuous entrepreneur Abel Morales and his more pragmatic wife, Anna (Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain providing onscreen dynamite). Shot in dreary industrial locales with the spires of New York glittering in the distance, Chandor’s tight editing and articulate script make two hours fly by while the film’s sense of classical tragedy is enhanced by a soundtrack of funereal movements and lethargic radio voices recapping the day’s crime statistics as if they were reciting a shopping list. Oscar Isaac’s disheartened Everyman is a study in outrage and control as he tries to swim agains the tide, and he’s matched stroke for stroke by Jessica Chastain whose own character learned long ago that it’s better to simply float. Also of note is David Oyelowo as the prosecuting District Attorney, a man so inured by his office that he can only see the world in shades of dishonesty and deception. Chandor’s tale of one good man, an antithesis to Coppola’s "The Godfather" if you will, ends appropriately enough on an ambivalent note with characters gazing upon the fruits of their decisions with all the weight of Shakespearean monarchs. An unexpected pleasure.