Four denizens of the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight. – IMDb
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt
Director: Adam McKay
I think if you’re going to make a film about finance and the crash of the housing market in the US, and how that effected the world economy… You could do a lot worse than hire the director of Anchorman. I loved so many things about this film, because it was so human and accessible, and entertaining.
You can tell from the start that there is a real push to make the subject matter of this film palatable and film-able. There’s a lot of information to get across and some technical terms, as well as the whole financial thing putting off audiences. Economiccs can be a pretty dry subject. And one of the points that this film makes is that it’s often put to us that way so that we remain confused and don’t do our research or ask questions.
And that’s what’s at the core of this film. Going against the prescribed notion that the housing market is rock solid, banks were pushing mortgages and investment packages that contained mortgages creating a housing bubble that had to eventually burst. But only four investment teams saw this. And they were called crazy when they used their money to bet against the market, and made incredible amounts of money when the bubble burst. They asked questions. They questioned the unquestionable.
The film does a lot of interesting things from a film making perspective that make it fresh and dynamic. It uses cut footage, it breaks the fourth wall, it uses famous people to explain potentially dull concepts, it also undercuts the scenes of triumph with the effect on the little guy. It’s also very funny, with snappy dialogue and characters who break the mould.
It needs to do all these things, though, because the housing crisis was awful. The film is cynical.
But importantly, I think this film challenges you to think for yourself, and not just accept what a bank or financial guru says because they lie. You have to take responsibility.
The four core performances are truly excellent, and though this film is long at 2 hours, you really won’t feel it. It’s entertaining, witty, tragic and unusual.
See It If: This one should please the Wall Street film fans, but it actually a interesting film in it’s own right, and maybe everyone should see it. Eye opening.