Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, John Magaro, Finn Wittrock, and Brad Pitt
What were we looking at? Celebrities, and it is by using them that writer/director Adam McKay attempts to explain the complexities of Wall Street finance. Don’t know what a subprime mortgage is? Here’s Margot Robbie in a bubble bath to tell you. Don’t know what a synthetic CDO is? Here’s Selena Gomez playing Blackjack. Known for directing comedies such as ‘Anchorman’ and ‘Step Brothers’, McKay may have seemed an odd choice for such a film. However, the end credits sequence of his film, ‘The Other Guys’ hinted at an interest in, or rather rage towards, the big banks. Meanwhile, his comedies have always reveled in absurdity and been stylistically daring. His adaptation of Michael Lewis’ book doesn’t shy away from the density or complexity of the subject matter. Instead he embraces it, and whilst some may find his approach at times jarring, patronizing, or gimmicky, it perfectly illustrates the film’s argument. McKay takes a subject we weren’t paying attention to, and gives it to the people who did have our attention. Now, we too are looking. The scenes in which the fourth wall is broken and the causes of the financial crash are explained make this film required viewing. The Big Short’s big achievement is making a fun and accessible film about credit default swaps and the financial crisis.
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Summary: A film full of energy, The Big Short is entertaining and essential viewing.
Movie Parliament Rating: MAJORITY GOVERNMENT
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,
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