The Foreclosure-Focused “99 Homes” Succeeds by Leveraging Powerful Performances Both Large and Small

Ramin Bahrani’s 2014 film 99 homes is yet another spectacular film to come out involving a plot inspired by the financial crisis of the late 2000s.  Instead of focusing on the macro-level of the crisis like Margin Call or The Big Short, 99 Homes is a more personal story favoring Main Street over Wall Street.  Hence, the narrative follows the families that lost their homes to bank foreclosures following the collapse of the housing market.  A key player in this story is a real estate agent named Rick Carver (Michael Shannon), who knows every angle and never saw a shady deal he didn’t like.  Set against him is the protagonist of the story, Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield), who is one of the “victims” of the foreclosures.  But, ultimately this is a film about financial hardship and the lengths that an honest man will go to in order to provide for his family.  It is about integrity in the face of hunger and failure, and the opportunism that emerges in the environment surrounding a profoundly rigged game.

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