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Friday, February 9, 2024

99 Homes 2014 * * 1/2 Stars


2014's 99 Homes is directed by under the radar guy Ramin Bahrani. As a film about real estate and cataclysmic abode foreclosures, 99 Homes shows that Bahrani did his research, aided by two other writers to pen a rather minute script. "I didn't kick you out the bank did". Ouch.

Taking place in Orlando, Florida amidst the blue collar haze of sunny suburbia, 99 Homes starts off without a hitch, thrusting you into its world of evictions in broad daylight and emotionless brokers who carry them out. "Homes" also shows the pain the evicted families go through and how the cold courtrooms fail to fully listen to them plead their cases. In 99 Homes the world is a downtrodden rat race and um, no one's getting a medal.

"Homes" stars Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, and Laura Dern. All three give raw performances and they almost come off as anti-heroes or well, turned villains. Shannon plays Rick Carver, a real estate operator who evicts Dennis Nash (Garfield) and Nash's mother (Lynn Nash played by Dern) from their foreclosed pad awaiting a 30-day appeal. What does Dennis do? Well he goes to work for Carver, being his errand boy and assistant, literally turning into Carver while steadily getting his fam out of debt. 99 Homes, well it is edited briskly and cut feverishly, growing into an eye-opening array of all things "flip or flop". "When you work for me, you're mine". Oh boy.

Human sea changes aside, 99 Homes works as an intense, bruising character study about property owners and their business-like, bullet pointy presentations. As a narrative however, "Homes" feels a little unfinished, as if the line producers told helmer Bahrani that his shooting schedule was finished and he had maybe one day to wrap things up. The proof, well it's in the movie's hasty coda, a gun-toting standoff between Garfield's Nash and a disgruntled dude about to lose his one floor accommodation. Halfway "house".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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