Arts & Entertainment

A Most Violent Year

It’s the winter of 1981, the New York heating oil industry is not necessarily for gangsters, neither is it scrupulously honest.

Abel Morales owns Standard Oil and stakes his future on purchasing an oil terminal, pays a 40% deposit, agreeing to settle in 30 days – or lose the deposit. Meantime, his delivery trucks are being hijacked and his drivers are terrorised by an unknown adversary. Then the Assistant DA, the ubiquitous David Oyelowo, decides to investigate his business practices. What will the bank he needs to fund the terminal purchase make of all this?

It’s a ripping yarn of almost Shakespearian proportions with a Godfather/Mario Puzo ambience. Abel (Oscar Isaac) is someone you warm to; he has cojones – three of them!

Writer/Director J. C Chandor also made last year’s brilliant All is Lost (Robert Redford) and I cannot wait to see what he does next.

It’s unlikely 2015 will see a drama more thrilling than this. (MM)

4.5/5 stars