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J.C. Chandor

It says something about a filmmaker's versatility when his first three movies cover the Global Financial Crisis, a man lost at sea, and the intricacies of 1981 New York City's crime-laden oil trade. Writer and director J.C. Chandor exemplified the ability to tell a broad menu of stories with flair, garnering critical acclaim for his breakthrough pictures "Margin Call" (2011), "All Is Lost" (2013), and "A Most Violent Year" (2014). Jeffrey McDonald Chandor was born in Morristown, New Jersey, on November 24, 1973. A childhood spent observing his father Jeff's career as a New York City investment banker would incept some of the ideas that would take form in Chandor's films. In 1996, Chandor graduated from The College of Wooster in Ohio, stepping immediately into the realm of commercial direction. He would work primarily in this corner of the filmmaking business for a decade and a half before writing and directing his first feature film, "Margin Call" (2011). Though an unknown at the time of the picture's release, Chandor's name earned due recognition both for his skill in crafting the particularly timely story about the 2008 financial crisis and for his top tier cast. The movie starred Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, and Jeremy Irons, an especially impressive lineup for a debut director. Upon its premiere at the 27th Annual Sundance Film Festival, the star-studded drama/thriller earned a warm reception from critics, and went on to snag an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Chandor's notability took an even greater jump forward with his next picture, thanks both to its unique form and iconic leading man. The one-man movie "All Is Lost" (2013) starred Robert Redford as a nameless individual lost at sea, battling the elements and his own fleeting sanity without uttering more than a few words. While Chandor's reputation was bumped up significantly following the premiere of "All Is Lost" at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, it was Redford who really garnered the bulk of the film's praise. Redford's creative acumen in such a potentially limiting role became the apex of the cinematic conversation surrounding the film's release, earning the star a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama, and a good deal of supportive outcry following his dismissal by the year's slate of Academy Award nominations. Nevertheless, Redford shared the spotlight; Chandor had cemented himself as a filmmaker who could handle a wide breadth of stories. The very next year, Chandor would return to traditional narrative with "A Most Violent Year" (2014), a bleak crime drama once again riddled with popular actors delivering impressive performances. The slow burning thriller cast blossoming favorite Oscar Isaac (following Javier Bardem's amicable departure from the picture) and Jessica Chastain as a married couple reluctantly anchored to the world of New York crime. Chastain in particular was recognized for her work in the film, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.
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