The 2008 housing market reached an all time low for thousands of people as banks foreclosed hundreds of Americans out of their homes. One of the victims of that crash is Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) and his family as they are kicked out of their home by a ruthless real estate shark played by the underrated Michael Shannon. Desperate for his family home and a job to pay off the loans on his family’s home, Dennis becomes a shark of his own accord doing what was done to him.
Human dramas like this can be all to real and the emotion on every different face of the foreclosure victims are just a gut-wrenching. From the old to the young to the families to the loners, no one is safe from banks taking your stuff. You are swept into a current of events that lead to Garfield giving one of his best performances since The Social Network when it comes to drama. This is one of those films that he is able to show he is far more than Peter Parker and that he has range and a true knack for this whole acting thing. Right next to him in the underrated talents section is Michael Shannon and the results speak for themselves.
Shannon is a man who is taking advantage of a horrible situation for his own gain and hopes of surviving the housing crash. Though his tactics aren’t always ethical nor legal, he gets the job done and in the mean time does what he needs to do. There is a scene where Shannon gives a monologue to Garfield about what America was founded on and who it ends up protecting and its riveting. Even in defending his unforgivable actions, you are bought into his defense. Like a great lawyer he appears to always come off Scot-free and you love to hate him for it.
There is so much to be said about the corruption that goes into the sale of a home through bank loans. I came out of this film never wanting to buy a house. The idea of being thrown out of your own home you worked hard to get is terrifying and that’s because it happens every single day to hard working, innocent Americans. This has a strong, big name cast, but it’s a small and contained indie-style drama with a voice and some serious talent all throughout which shows Ramin Bahrani – director and writer – at his best when it comes to his young film career.
I’d suggest this to a lot of people whether you’re an avid film fan or your just like a good movie once in awhile. It’s drama at its best with a story you can get into with characters you can follow like breadcrumbs. Sadly, this didn’t get a wide release in theaters (I don’t know why) but when you get a chance definitely give this film a viewing.