You love your family? Is there anything you wouldn’t do to keep them safe, to give them a fighting chance in the cold, cruel world?
That’s the moral dilemma explored in 99 Homes, set against the aftermath of the subprime-mortgage crisis of 2008 that nearly pulled the entire global economy into the abyss. Andrew Garfield plays a blue-collar single dad whose construction jobs have dried up. One day, there’s a knock at the door and literally minutes later, he, his son, and his mother are standing in the street with the rest of their belongings, wondering how they just lost their home.
But not everyone loses money in a recession. In fact, there’s money to be made, especially if you’re not handicapped by scruples. Enter Michael Shannon’s slick wheeler-dealer, who preys on the misfortune of others and the rules set up to encourage crooked shenanigans. “You just got to stop lying to yourself and ask what did you did wrong that you’re family lives in a hotel,” he barks at Garfield in an exclusive new promo, as part of his recruitment pitch. Help evict some losers and flip their foreclosed homes, he offers, and maybe, just maybe, Garfield’s family can get home again.
99 Homes, written and directed by Ramin Bahrani, opened in two theaters last weekend (it will go wide on Oct. 9), and critics were quick to praise the tense morality play. The New York Times called it “a minor masterpiece of suspense, as tightly wound as Sicario … and almost as brutal.”
Shannon gets all the great speeches, evoking Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. But it’s Garfield’s gentle demeanor and empathetic eyes, as he struggles with temptation, that might cause you to question yourself: How far would you go for your family?