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Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Big Short (2015)

This is a jaunty film about the meltdown of the financial system and the corruptness that underlies what happened.   How does it manage to keep it light?  First by focusing on those who saw what was coming and while they by no means tried to stop it, they did become increasingly alarmed when the market was not acting as it should and tried to figure out why.  The answer, as we all know, is that the system is rigged, and while a few banks and investment houses went down in the crash in 2008, few did and almost no one went to jail.  We could learn a thing or two from Iceland, where the financial crooks were treated as crooks and incarcerated.  Not so here.  The movie is packed with good acting.  Steve Carell is excellent, maybe the best that I have seen him, and Christian Bale has taken his wooden style of acting to where it needs to be and become quite good at portraying a kind of character.  Brad Pitt is almost unrecognizable and Ryan Gosling takes a double take to notice, but they both put in great performances in a film that almost flippantly tells the saddest story of the 21st century in America.  It could well explain how an outsider like Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, managing to escape the wrath of voters against the very moneyed class that the crash protected at their expense.  We all desperately want to believe the best of those with money, and that is simply not the case.  This movie makes that all very palatable to watch.

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