99 Homes

This movie is bumming me out. Like, big, big, big time bumming me out.

In it, a young guy named Dennis (Andrew Garfield) hits some tough times and he, his young son, and his mother (Laura Dern) get evicted when their home goes into foreclosure. Real estate mogul Rick (Michael Shannon) is making 99homesserious bank helping to make those foreclosures happen, then buying up those empty homes for real cheap and repackaging them for new buyers. The money is staggering. Dennis is dazzled by it. He’s never made this kind of cash before, and mid-recession, he’s not likely to find even a fraction of it anywhere else. But it means working for the bad guys and evicting people, nice people, just like him.

Rick isn’t really the villain though, it’s the system that made him. “Americaandrew garfield 99 homes doesn’t bail out the losers. America was built by bailing out winners. By rigging a nation of the winners, for the winners, by the winners.” Fucking ouch, eh?

Matt already reviewed this movie, but I feel compelled to write a bit about how devastated I am watching this. This is the real story, the faces that The Big Short failed to show us. THIS is the housing crisis. These are the real people who were booted out of their 635784495381804272-99HOMES-02238-CROPhomes. In fact, when Andrew Garfield is pounding on people’s doors, those are, more often than not, real evictees answering them, often standing in their own foreclosed homes. Jason Reitman went for a similar effect in Up In the Air, interviewing real victims of downsizing on camera. Both these movies are symptoms of the same dirty disease, and it’s heartbreaking. And I can’t help but wonder if any of these homeless people are comforted by being portrayed, however compassionately,  by Hollywood millionaires.


9 thoughts on “99 Homes

  1. J.

    I’ve had this on my list since Matt’s review. It’s kinda ironic that ‘winners’ are highlighting the plight of those who got screwed, huh? Sometimes there’s more than just winners and losers / wolves and sheep … sometimes folks are a tad irked by what happens that they go make movies about it and highlight that something is broken.


  2. ridicuryder


    I had an uncle who took a “part time” job with a Cartage company years ago and what broke him was going to repossess a refrigerator in this single mom’s home. She was wailing, hanging onto the fridge as he and another guy were trying to get it on the dolly. Her little kids were watching and crying.

    He quit the job a few hours later, rounded up a friend with a truck, got an old fridge somewhere and brought it to the lady that evening.

    This movie has been on my list for a while…thanks for reminding me.



  3. ruth

    This film is devastating indeed and I love what you said about putting a *face* to the victims of the housing crisis. It’s such a well-acted film from start to finish, wish it had gotten more attention as The Big Short.


  4. Khalid Rafi

    Really liked this. I agree that its pretty devastating which is why it really left a mark on me. And the performances from both Garfield and Shannon are just spell-binding. Great film



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