February 29 2016 Drama Movies Newsletter
The element of danger is always present in "99 Homes". When people are being evicted from their houses and staring destitution in the face, they tend to get desperate. The film also demonstrates how slick financiers made money during the mortgage crisis, profiting from other people's misery. I hesitate to call "99 Homes" a thriller, though. Bahrani does not resolve the story in typical thriller style. It has plenty of emotional impact, but don't expect any action sequences or gun battles.
Ramin Bahrani was born in North Carolina and went to Columbia University. As an independent filmmaker, he benefited greatly from the support of critic Roger Ebert. In 2009, Ebert called Bahrani the "new great American director." Bahrani, in turn, has said that Ebert "changed everything for me, my films and my future." The two developed a close friendship that lasted until Ebert's death in 2013. Bahrani dedicated "99 Homes" to Roger Ebert.
Ebert used to run an "Outguess Ebert" contest for the Oscars every year. Would he have guessed that “Spotlight” would win the Best Picture award last night? Although that category was a bit of a surprise, the other awards went as predicted. I think the best acceptance speech was made by documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. She won Best Documentary Short for her film “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”. The film profiles Saba, a young woman in Pakistan who was shot by her relatives and dumped in a river. She survived to tell the story, although most victims of “honor killings” are not so lucky. Obaid-Chinoy said her film was the result of determined women getting together. She also thanked brave men who champion women, like her father and brother. This was Obaid-Chinoy’s second Oscar win.
Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.
99 Homes Film Review
The economic meltdown of 2008 and the subsequent home mortgage crisis set the stage for "99 Homes". A construction worker is evicted and finds the only work available is forcing others out of their homes. Ramin Bahrani's film is a masterful depiction of survival and redemption.
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