J.C. Chandor is pretty hot property these days. His first film, “Margin Call,” netted him an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay; “All is Lost” may not have garnered quite the awards attention people initially expected, but was still a formidable follow-up — one that earned him a Cannes berth, lest we forget. So hopes are high for Chandor’s third feature, “A Most Violent Year,” which is already building quite an ensemble.
Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain and “Inside Llewyn Davis” breakout Oscar Isaac were already confirmed for the 1980s-set crime drama — another Chandor original — which centers on an immigrant family in New York whose burgeoning heating-oil business takes them into criminal territory. Now Albert Brooks has joined the project; he’ll play the lawyer of Isaac’s character.
Brooks, who was Oscar-nominated 26 years ago for “Broadcast News,” is an infrequent screen presence, though he’s been picking up the pace slightly. His villainous turn in “Drive,” which netted him numerous critics’ honors, ended a six-year break from non-animated film roles; he followed it up with a 2012 appearance in Judd Apatow’s “This is 40.” “A Most Violent Year” will be his first onscreen performance since then, though he also has voice roles in “The Little Prince” and, of course, Pixar’s “Finding Dory” to come.
Domestic distribution rights to “A Most Violent Year” were picked up by on-the-ball young company A24 at the Sundance Film Festival — where “Margin Call” debuted three years ago. Chandor’s regular producers Neal Dodson and Anna Gerb are back on board. The exciting below-the-line news, meanwhile, is that Chandor will be working with cinematographer Bradford Young — currently one of the best in the business, as anyone who saw last year’s double-shot of “Mother of George” and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” would probably agree.
The film is currently set for a 2015 release.