J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost, Margin Call) and A24 films are making quite the push right now with A Most Violent Year. There's reason to it. The period piece spotlights Abel and Anna, two people, and their family, trying to "make it" in a time of severe downfall and decay all around them. Abel is an immigrant who is trying to provide for his wife and family, but the friction he encounters in New York City in 1981 may prove to be too much.
Abel's character is precise and understands the world around him. He is adaptable and knows what is needed to come off a certain way. Why does he do this? To, in the long run, get what he wants to better himself and his family, no matter what he must endure.