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Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac Chase the American Dream in ‘A Most Violent Year’ (Exclusive Video)

The J.C. Chandor film also stars David Oyelowo and Albert Brooks

Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain walk a tightrope between morality and lawlessness in their pursuit of the American dream in J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year.”

“It’s the Wild West in New York City at this moment,” Isaac says of the setting of the upcoming film in a new behind-the-scenes video. “There’s a violence around and the general thought is when someone has a gun, you get a gun too to defend yourself.”

Isaac’s character, Abel, finds himself conflicted in such an environment. He fancies himself a morally upright man and is desperate to appear that way to everyone around him, even as he scrambles to be successful in the heating oil business, which is dominated by shady characters and minor and major illegalities of all kinds.

Chastain plays Abel’s wife, Anna, the daughter of a mob family who may be a little more willing to get her hands dirty in order to grow their business.

“It’s an analysis of the American Dream, and the dark side of that,” adds co-star David Oyelowo, who plays Lawrence.

“I’m continually fascinated by the opportunities that this country gives people, and what you have to give up to get those opportunities,” Chandor told TheWrap in a recent interview.

“A Most Violent Year” was nominated for three Film Independent Spirit Awards on Tuesday. It will be released on Dec. 31, 2014. Here’s the new poster for the film:

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year poster