Movie review – The Big Short

Another trip to the Guildford Odeon for a lucky-dip Screen Unseen movie. As Forrest Gump would say….you don’t always know what you’re gonna get.

After a couple of recent suboptimal experiences, The Big Short has renewed our Screen Unseen enthusiasm. Out on general release in the UK from this Friday, 22nd January, the film is a sparkling effort to tell the story of the 2008 financial crash in an understandable and entertaining way.

As Michael Lewis, the scourge of Wall Street since Liar’s Poker was published, and author of the original book The Big Short says: Who’d make a movie about credit-default swaps?

Who indeed would think that the movie-going public could be entertained by a complex tale of sub-prime mortgage loans, credit-default swaps and collateralised debt obligations. And, by the architect of the final descent into financial madness, synthetic CDOs.

Enter Adam McKay as director of The Big Short. Known as a comedian and a director of hugely successful comic movies, he has used off-the-wall cinematic techniques and ploys to highlight the frankly unbelievable and absurd unravelling of the banking system.

Adam McKay Picture

The stellar cast – Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Peter Epstein – play along as the Wall Street outsiders, non-conformist geniuses, idealists and chancers who bet against inherent Wall Street greed and corruption.

This is a seat-of-the-pants, can-this-really-be-happening, will-they-win-big-or-lose-everything story, told and acted in a totally compelling way.

Hard to believe it all really did happen.


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