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99 Homes

"Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield star in this brutal examination of the subprime mortgage meltdown." - Chicago Reader

“99 Homes is an exciting and emotional drama about temptation, shame, humiliation and greed — and it’s got something to say about America’s toxic-loan slump and how the taxpayer-funded bailout created a bonanza for big businesses who could make money out of the recession.

“Michael Shannon plays Rick Carver, a hard-faced estate agent in Orlando, Florida: the court-appointed agent for homes that have been repossessed by the bank. He supervises the process whereby the sobbing families are booted out and their possessions piled up on the sidewalk, and takes a cut from the eventual repo sale. Everyone wins, except for the now-homeless owners. It is a situation that routinely leads to horror, desperation and violence. Director Ramin Bahrani plunges us into a nightmarish situation from the outset.

“One of his victims is hardworking carpenter and builder Dennis Nash, a single dad living with his infant son and his mother. They fall behind with the payments; Carver kicks them out and Dennis and his family endure the unthinkable calvary of shame. Desperate for work, Dennis finds that Carver himself needs a hand, and then begins to work for Carver as a builder before graduating to doing eviction work himself. He may even get his beloved family home back, at the cost of his soul.

“Bahrani sketches out a sickeningly ironic mentor relationship between the two men. Dennis finds himself submitting to Carver’s tutelage and ideology: survival is all, making a buck is all. Houses are not family homes but boxes – assets that facilitate income streams. And he shows that Carver is not simply enforcing the laws of capitalism on a level playing field — he has his snout in the public money trough.

“It is a taut, lean drama that plays with pitiless accuracy on the horror of bankruptcy, the fear of losing everything. This is a tough, muscular, idealistic drama that packs a mighty punch, and Shannon and Garfield are excellent.” - The Guardian

 

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