Most of the film is a conversation, but a conversation that ought to be documented, hence, this film.
J. C. Chandor, for me, is a better director than he is a writer. Now, I know he is famous for his sharp writing skills but his direction does more than he asks for, in those very scripts. Which is, of course, that his direction shows us exactly how he had envisioned it, when he was putting those images that were in his head, on paper. On simple words. Powerful words. Impactful dialogues. Whistle blowing dialogues. Dialogues that any actor would die to have for and characters almost too filmy to skip by. And if he gives these opportunities to his actors, they respect back to him equally.
Jessica Chastain as the bratty wife or more accurately a bratty daughter of a shady tycoon, has portrayed or puffed up that character ambitiously. What has happened then, is that she somehow remains to be the final verdict, final showdown, the part where a trick is revealed, in every act. She is dangerous and you fear for her just as you doubt her intentions. But, it was, is and will be the Oscar Isaac show. Reminding me of the Al Pacino from The Godfather, his hands stuffed in the overcoat is what makes me respect him.
He is humble, fair and generous. He is a character, you will and you have to empathize with. But going back to Chandor’s direction. His script is written with way too practicality in mind, to ever work on a screen. But with a calm environment spread across the film, even the most mundane deals gone good or bad or just gone, gives us the heart skipping signals as it would in reality. That is the only reason why A Most Violent Year works, it had no right to be actually, and yet here it is right in front of you, two hours long.