A Most Violent Year, the third feature written and directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All is Lost) will make its world premiere when it serves as the Opening Night Gala of the 2014 AFI Fest in Hollywood on November 6th. Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) star in the 80s set crime drama which was acquired by A24 Films shortly before production began earlier this year. AFI Fest is the last major festival stop of the calendar year, so this marks a coveted slot for the film and its budding distributor.
Due to its placement near the end of the year, AFI Fest sometimes has to settle for leftovers or lower profile movies in terms of world premieres. Last year the festival opened with the North American premiere of Saving Mr. Banks and the only world premiere featured was the war movie Lone Survivor (Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher was supposed to have its world premiere at AFI last year but instead premiered at Cannes , where it won the Best Director prize). No announcements have been made about what other films will be joining A Most Violent Year at this years’ festival, however AFI will be holding a tribute for Sophia Loren, the acting icon who recently celebrated her 80th birthday.
A Most Violent Year takes place in New York City circa 1981 – known as one of the most violent years in the city’s history – and focuses on Abel and Anna Morales (Isaac and Chastain), a married couple trying attain the American dream amidst corruption and urban decay. David Oyelowo (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, the upcoming MLK bio Selma), Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle), Oscar nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), and Albert Brooks (Drive) co-star. The film marks a second straight about-face for writer/director Chandor, who earned a screenplay Oscar nomination for his 2011 debut, the talky, Glengarry Glen Ross-infused Wall Street drama Margin Call. He followed that film with last years’ nearly wordless survival drama All is Lost starring Robert Redford. A Most Violent Year, a crime drama with period touches and provocative themes, may perhaps be Chandor’s most ambitious project to date.
”J.C. Chandor has put together a remarkable crime drama, which is also an immersive period piece and morality tale that resonates on an emotional level. Chandor is a talented director who takes risks with every film that he makes and A Most Violent Year is no exception. It is a great film with which to open the festival and begin the audience’s eight-day journey through a landscape of extraordinary contemporary cinema,” said AFI Fest artistic director Jacqueline Lyanga. The film is still currently is post-production.
A24 will release A Most Violent Year in limited release on December 31, 2014, with expansion in January of 2015. AFI Fest runs in Hollywood from November 6th-13th.
Check out the trailer below: