I’ve got 99 problems, and the title of the film is definitely one, as I think this Jay-Z reference is getting a little bit tired now. But aside from that, 99 Homes is a quality drama that looks at real, heartbreaking issues, and will definitely induce the feels in anyone who’s ever experienced money woes.
Dennis Nash (Garfield) is a single father struggling to support his son and mother (Dern). Set in Orlando, the family still live in the same house that Dennis grew up in and, now having apparently lost both his father and son’s mother, the house has extraordinary value that goes far beyond money. However, after missing several payments on his mortgage, Dennis and his family are forcibly evicted from the house after is it sold to the bank and managed by the corrupt and money-hungry realtor Rick Carver (Shannon).
Now slumming it in a motel and unable to find work in the trades, Dennis finds himself working for Rick in return for some serious money. Of course, it’s not innocent work, and the pressure of working on the other side on an eviction slowly starts to get to Dennis, especially when his family discovers how he’s been earning his keep.
Garfield’s portrayal of a young, working-class father is fantastic, and there are several scenes during the film when you can almost feel his heart breaking yourself. While it’s not a pleasant film, it is an emotional one, and really does make you think about what it would be like if the same thing happened to you. Shannon on the other hand, plays the evil “I-don’t-give-a-shit” realtor and while his performance is okay, he’s certainly overshadowed by Garfield.
The story itself is a little bit cliched at times, and you can easily see where the story is going before it gets there. At 112 minutes, the film is ever so slightly too long, and there are definitely some scenes that could have been cut down. But it’s still a decent drama and not one to be thrown aside… and you’ll leave the cinema feeling thankful that you’ve got a home to go to.e