‘Only one in a hundred’s gonna get on that ark, son. Every other pour soul’s gonna drown.’
Andrew Garfield is a versatile actor. It has been a joy watching him go from TV up and comer in Boy A and Red Riding to film actor in Never Let Me Go to bona fide Hollywood star as Spiderman. Remarkably between 2010 and 2014, Garfield only made 4 films. The Social Network, the two Spiderman films and 99 Homes. Whilst the latter wasn’t as much of a landmark film as the others, 99 Homes is still a solid film and features another great performance from Garfield.
Playing a construction worker and father is a departure for Garfield after his boyish turn as Peter Parker and he is convincing as home evictee Dennis Nash. The set up of 99 Homes is an intriguing one as Nash dances with the devil who evicted him and finds himself turfing others out of their homes in a turn of events that forces him to question his morals and his sense of self.
Michael Shannon plays real estate magnate Rick Carver and another confident turn shows why Shannon is one of the most interesting character actors working in Hollywood today. Any film is enhanced by the presence of Shannon and it’s only a matter of time before he adds to his sole Oscar nomination.
99 Homes is a compelling and bile inducing glimpse into the seedy world of American real estate and works as a good companion piece to The Company Men and The Big Short. Garfield and Shannon have a great chemistry but beyond that director Ramin Bahrani struggles to introduce any meaningful characters and some of the plot holes are too large to ignore, particularly in relation to the decision making of Garfield’s Dennis Nash.
As with the aforementioned The Big Short, 99 Homes is not just a brilliantly acted, well made film, it is also important viewing in times when people are more than happy to sweep financial foul play under the rug.