Film Review: Exposé of ‘The Big Short’ is an American Masterwork

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CHICAGO – This is a rare film that will fill you with anger, while making you laugh at the absurdity of 21st Century life. “The Big Short” is an inside look at the mortgage meltdown that began in 2007, that cost eight million jobs and an untold amount of foreclosures, and the men who knew it was coming. Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

It also exposes how the financial world is basically a large scale casino, with the crime bosses in better clothing. Comedy director Adam McKay (“Anchorman”) makes his first “dramatic’ film, and it took a man who sees the farcical nature of life to express the complexity of what these sharks did to the economy. It’s a reminder of how there is always a certain level of human greed and arrogance, and explains what we already should know – it’s a jungle out there, and basically it is about killing or being killed. It’s also about cheating, lying and stealing by the fat cats of this jungle, the so-called “pillars of society.” I’m damn sure they vote Republican as well.

Mark Baum (Steve Carrell) runs a financial fund, making investments for a collective of money. He begins to note a trend regarding home mortgages, how many of them float on low interest adjustable rates, and the banks are giving them away. A spate of foreclosures signals his research, and he notices that many of the homes had these adjustable rates, and would collapse once the adjustments were made upward.

Michael Burry (Christian Bale) is a numbers guy, and he sees the same trends. They both bet on the “short,” an investment that pays off if the mortgage derivative (bundles of mortgages) go belly up. These bets are noticed by Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) and retired financier Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt). The mainstays and the background players are all waiting, as the clock ticks down to the Great Recession.

“The Big Short” opens in Chicago on December 11th, elsewhere by December 23rd. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Hamish Linklater, Margot Robbie, Marisa Tomei and Selena Gomez. Screenplay adapted by Adam McKay and Charles Randolph. Directed by Adam McKay. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Big Short”

Steve Carrell
Mark Baum (Steve Carrell) Starts the Process in ‘The Big Short’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Big Short”

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