STARRING: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Tim Guinee, Noah Lomax, Clancy Brown, Cynthia Santiago, Manu Narayan, Cullen Moss and Nadiyah Skyy
A recently unemployed single father struggles to get back his foreclosed home by working for the real estate broker who is the source of his frustration.
99 Homes takes us to Orlando, Florida where we see construction worker Dennis Nash being evicted from his home along with his mother Lynn and his son Connor as their home is now foreclosed. Leading the charge of the eviction is real estate broker Rick Carver, leading to Nash and his family moving into a cramped motel room. One day Nash is giving an unexpected opportunity – to work for Carver in a desperate attempt to get his home back, leading him into a world of scamming and steal from the banks and the government.
99 Homes is a film directed by Ramin Bahrani that looks at the fallout of the 2008 economic collapse by looking at the foreclosure crisis in 2010 and how certain people capitalised on the policies set in place.
For the most part, the film written by Ramn Bahrani and Amir Naderi is well structured together, mainly in its first two acts as it takes us through the grey area of the foreclosure crisis. We see it through two sets of eyes, one being Andrew Garfield’s Dennis Nash, a working man that can’t find a sustainable source of income and is evicted from his family home along with his mother and son and the other is through the eyes of Michael Shannon’s Rick Carver, a real estate broker that used to give families homes but due to the economic collapse has had to evict families from their homes. Once the opportunity strikes for Nash to work with Carver, he takes it as a means to an end which is to get his family home back. We follow Nash as he goes down a path that leads him to having to face moral dilemmas and consequences as he becomes seduced by the ways of Rick Carver’s means of exploiting the Government and banks to the disadvantage of struggling home owners. It deals with the bigger question of just how far would you go to keep a roof over your families head, as greed and dignity become clouded here as the film progresses. The two leads are great here, Andrew Garfield showing that he’s got a fine career ahead of him with life after Spider-Man, dealing with a variety of emotions and being convincing in the role. However the star of the film is Michael Shannon as he just chews up the scenery from the moment we first catch glimpse of his character from the opening scene. His character has become cold and ruthless in the aftermath of the crisis as he plans to not let it happen to him as his highlight monologue has Carver state that ‘America doesn’t bail out the losers. America was built by bailing out winners. By rigging a nation of the winners, for the winners, by the winners.America doesn’t bail out the losers.’ Laura Dern is good as Nash’s mother as Noah Lomax as his son Connor.
I’ll admit that the third act does letdown the film somewhat especially in the ending as it didn’t go where I would’ve preferred it to go due to the promise of what it build in the two acts before and the score at times didn’t do much for me either.
A very well directed film by Bahrani as is the two lead performances by Andrew Garfield and especially Michael Shannon. Just a shame that the film’s final act and ending doesn’t deliver on the promise of the two acts that came before. 7/10