Title – The Big Short (2015)
Director – Adam McKay (Step Brothers)
Cast – Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Finn Wittrock
Plot – Follows a varied group of investors and financers as they went about earning as much as they could off greedy banks after they predicted a housing market crash that would eventually bring about the greatest world economy disaster ever seen.
“I thought we were better than this, I really did”
Review by Eddie on 08/03/2016
While normally talk about banking or bonds is about as fun and interesting to us common folk as signing a mortgage agreement, Adam McKay’s Oscar winning (and Best Picture nominated) The Big Short does the seemingly impossible task of making an entertaining product that’s main topics are very much the stuff of nightmares whether they be CPO’s, stock market trends or Christian Bale rocking out to Pantera.
Based upon Michael Lewis’s no doubt complicated and insightful book of the same name, The Big Short feels very much like Lewis’s other famous novel Moneyball, where he made an on face value dry subject matters into energetic and easy to understand scenarios, even if some of The Big Short’s more intricately detailed situations would take multiple viewings to fully comprehend, but that’s the world we live in and McKay’s simple message of banks being shady and the common people paying for it comes across clear as day.
Graduating from the world of Step Brothers and The Other Guys and producing credits on the likes of The Dictator and HBO’s fantastic TV series Eastbound and Down, McKay who is Will Ferrell’s creative partner in crime shows significant chops in his ability do coherently deliver The Big Short’s weighty materials to life and while the film at times struggles with tonal shifts and the over reliance on shaky, sometimes even blurred camera views to make it seem “busy”, the films easily one of the most finely assembled American productions of 2015.
Going for the team over one star player approach, The Big Short gives equal moments to its cast members to shine with Christian Bale (aka The Drummer Boy), Steve Carrell (focussed on his new Oscar hunt) and Ryan Gosling (with fake tan?) getting the most to do but receiving valuable support from the likes of Brad Pitt (who also produces the film), Finn Wittrock and Rafe Spall. With such seasoned performers at the forefront to the picture The Big Short eases into a steady roll on as these men played the money making game as the world around them slowly but surely fell apart and come the end game, The Big Short’s poignant message resonates in a meaningful and eye opening way.
Full credit must go to the team that bought The Big Short to life as while it’s by no means a flawless piece of entertainment it’s a film with an important subject to share and the film shares it in a fun and often unique way (Margot Robbie in a bathtub anyone?) and this picture marks an interesting career point for director McKay who may just be one director to keep a very close eye on.
4 fired up drumming sessions out 5