Oscar Bait Trailer: Jessica Chastain Relives New York’s Murderous Glory Days In ‘A Most Violent Year’

One thing aging intellectuals never shut up about is the “old, dangerous New York,” before Giuliani and condos and 9/11 and blah blah blah. And now comes the trailer for A Most Violent Year, in which you can relive Dangerous New York’s glory days, specifically in the most murder and rape-filled year of its history, 1981. But the Oscar bona fides don’t end there, because it comes from director JC Chandor (Margin Call, All Is Lost) and stars Inside Llewyn Davis‘s Oscar Isaac and Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jessica Chastain, who wouldn’t you know it, actually knew each other from Juilliard. Oh Jesus, just give it the Oscars now.

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR is a thriller set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically one of the most violent years in the city’s history. The film follows the lives of an immigrant (Oscar Isaac) and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built.

Meanwhile, Chastain plays Isaac’s mobbed up tough girl New Yawk wife, one of those roles that’s like catnip for these Juilliard broads.

Chastain suggested her former schoolmate to Chandor when all three of them were in Cannes together last summer. Chandor, who was at the festival presenting his Robert Redford film All Is Lost, had just flown there from Spain after a fruitless, months-long wooing of Javier Bardem to take the movie’s lead; after he delivered the bad news to Chastain, she had an a-ha moment.

The Inside Llewyn Davis star immediately clicked with Chandor — and unlike Bardem, who “wanted the script to be far more black and white,” Isaac was thrilled with his character’s ambiguities. [Vulture]

Hearing guys in suede berets at my local coffee shop speak in reverent tones about the “old, dangerous New York,” and Chandor and the Redford gang reminisce about their Juilliard days make me want to hate this thing pre-emptively, but Oscar Isaac was amazing in Inside Llewyn Davis and All Is Lost was pretty solid too. A Most Violent Year opens in limited release December 31st (the last day of Oscar eligibility). I fully expect to be one of those A-holes talking about how great it is two weeks before most of the general public can even see it, but at least I’ll be smart enough to hate myself for it.