Financial experts attempt to take on the banks responsible for
the mid-2000's housing crisis and subsequent economic collapse.
The Big Short (2015)
Directed by Adam McKay
Written by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Starring Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt,
Marisa Tomei, John Magaro, Finn Wittrock,Jeremy Strong,
Hamish Linklater, Rafe Spall
Based on the book by Michael Lewis
Oscar Wins - Best Adapted Screenplay
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor
(Christian Bale), Best Director, Best Film Editing
While The Big Short succeeds in detailing the reasons behind the 2008 housing bubble, it ultimately becomes a film full of Wall Street jargon that fails in helping moviegoers understand what actually happened. Though they do try to describe the various terms using celebrity guests like Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, and Selena Gomez, the majority of the film's dialogue is still indecipherable to people who don't study economics. Still, it's crazy to see how such a monumental economic collapse was allowed to occur and how there were virtually zero consequences for those involved.
This is director Adam McKay's second jab at the big banks, with his first being 2010's buddy cop comedy The Other Guys. This time around, he sought to tell this story using a more dramatic approach. The four principle actors who helped tell that story all do a phenomenal job with characters who are very much outside their wheelhouse. Christian Bale plays Michael Burry, a loner who has trouble connecting with people and is the first to discover the problem. While he usually plays strong, charismatic characters, he does a great job of stripping all of that away. Right beside him is Steve Carell who plays Mark Baum, a loudmouth who gets in on the action in order to screw over the banks. Carell proves that his performance in Foxcatcher wasn't a fluke and he totally has the chops for dramatic roles. Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt were excellent as well, but I felt that Bale and Carell truly stole the show.
The Big Short is worth watching for the stellar performances, but if you actually want to follow the film's dialogue, I recommend getting a degree in macroeconomics first. I wouldn't label it as one of the best films of the year, but it kept my interest and left me frustrated at the circumstances surrounding the housing bubble and how the banks were not only let off the hook, but were given bailout money and bonus checks by the government. Some things in this world just make you want to scream, don't they?