Name: The Big Short (2015)
IMDb: link to The Big Short page
Genres: Biography, Comedy, Drama Country of origin: USA.
Scion Capital: Christian Bale as Michael Burry, Dave Davis as Burry's assistant, Rudy Eisenzopf as Lewis Ranieri.
Deutsche Bank: Ryan Gosling as Jared Vennett, Jeffry Griffin as Chris (Jared's assistant).
FrontPoint Partners: Steve Carell as Mark Baum, Marisa Tomei as Cynthia Baum, Brad Pitt as Ben Rickert, Hamish Linklater as Porter Collins, Jeremy Strong as Vinnie Daniels, Adepero Oduya as Kathy Tao.
Directed by: Adam McKay. Written by: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay (screenplay), Michael Lewis (book).
|Deutschebank meets FrontPoint|
The initial tableaux:
Michael Burry MD retired from medicine and became a hedge fund manager. When joining Scion Capital, he negotiated to have strong control, no matter what, of his part of the hedge funds. A bit over a year before the start of the the housing collapse in 2007/2008, Burry saw the writing on the wall, and managed to short (bet on failure) several housing securities that seemed bulletproof. He was widely criticised and attacked from within his company.
Jared Vennett listens extensively to what's going on in the markets. When he catches some of the Street's disdain for Burry's short bets, he takes a closer look, and decides that he too can profit from the coming recession.
While Jared was looking for allies in shorting housing securities, one of his calls is misplaced. The 'other' FrontPoint Partners takes the call, and the small but talented group arranges a meeting with Jared.
Delineation of conflicts:
Michael Burry is at war with this company throughout most of the film. Sticking to his position is not easy in the least.
Jared has a hard time convincing others of his position, which was derived from Burry's. He also perseveres through some heavy flack from others.
Jared's presentations inspire Mark to do his own research. Some of the delving into the absurdities of the housing bubble were hilarious; others, incredibly sad. The uncovering of fraud leaves Mark outraged; others seem to think he is a stupid idealist. Mark's group joins the small wave betting on failure in the artificial housing securities. Mark resists wave after wave of pressure to sell off his bets.
Resolution: The dialectic of conflicts ends late in the film. Stay tuned.
One line summary: Follows small group who bets against the housing market.
Cinematography: 4/10 Sucked. Pointless bad camera work.
Sound: 7/10 I could hear the actors speak. The music varied quite a bit, from irrelevant to too damned loud to right on target.
Acting: 10/10 Gosling, Carell, Bale, and Pitt were all brilliant in their parts.
Screenplay: 7/10 Too many threads, too many balls in the air simultaneously, not always enough context, way too many drops of the f-bomb. After the first 20, the next 50 are of little effect.
On the other hand, the black humour is often so trenchant that one has to laugh, and I laughed many times. The movie drives home the damage done by the widespread fraud and endless lies in the securities industry.
Final Rating: 8/10