A24 has slotted a December 31 release date for J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. The pic will open in NYC and Los Angeles on that date, then expand nationally. Chandor is currently completing the film starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain for A24, FilmNation and Participant Media.  A Most Violent Year, co-financed by Participant and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, takes place in New York in 1981, a year in which the city had one of its highest tallies of violent crime. An immigrant and his family are trying to grow a business and their ambition collides with the crime element. Check out the trailer:

Image (6) A24_logo__131205180530__140507011114.jpg for post 725379A24 made its biggest purchase to date with the pickup of A Most Violent Year at Sundance, where it acquired domestic distribution rights from Participant Media ahead of its production start. The plan even then was to release the film wide during 2014’s awards season, as the distrib eyes this title as a likely horse in the Oscar race.

A24 also acquired two of the best liked films at this year’s Sundance: the Lynn Shelton-directed Laggies with Keira Knightley, Chloe Moretz and Sam Rockwell, and the Gillian Robespierre-directed comedy Obvious Child, which features a breakout performance by former Saturday Night Live cast member Jenny Slate.

Chandor is coming off the one-man survival tale All Is Lost with Robert Redford, who some argue should have been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. As Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr told you in July, Chandor’s next project is directing Deepwater Horizon, the big-scale drama being mobilized by Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment and Participant Media for a winter shoot. The pic focuses on the April 20, 2010 explosion of the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that caused a massive offshore oil spill that created the second-largest U.S. environmental disaster. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are producing. Matthew Michael Carnahan wrote the most recent draft.