What with the awards season underway it seems fitting to keep up reviews on those with nominations. Another film which certainly deserves acknowledgement is this one.
This would be the moment when I warn you about SPOILERS. As you were.
In the 2000’s the housing market began to collapse. Actually it did. Big time. We know this, but what I didn’t know and perhaps a lot of you were also unaware of is how the big banks and the U.S government knew aaaaallllllllllll about it. Adam McKay has directed a very interesting film (not like him) which tells us how Wall Street guru Michael Burry (Christian Bale) predicted this. What it also tells us is how he bet over $1 billion of his investors money into credit default swaps. Smart bloke. Oh, and in doing so this investment gained 489% profit from the plan, just as he predicted.
Now, I won’t pretend to you that I know even the slightest thing about Wall Street, stocks, the housing market and any of that, so it is just as well we have Ryan Gosling (as trader Jared Vennett) casually turning to the camera now and again to act as narrator for the film. Let’s say he helps to “dumb things down” for those who can’t quite follow (myself benefiting greatly from this). To make it EVEN easier and enjoyable to learn about what is happening he throws us over to someone totally unrelated;
“Here is Margot Robbie in a bubble bath to explain it to you”
Yeah. You’re going to watch it for that alone now ain’t ya.
The film itself is made as if it is a documentary on television, and not a good one. Think shaky camera shots following the conversations. At the start everything looked quite amateur but that’s the charm of the film. You are getting in on different conversations between the people who were getting involved in betting on the market crashing. It seems shady in a way as if we maybe shouldn’t be knowing all of this and that is what helps to portray the everyday real situations these people were facing onscreen. Adam McKay is famous for Anchorman and Step Brothers and I think that is why he was the right person to direct this. You can sense some of the humour he adds to the story. I don’t mean he makes people losing their jobs and homes funny, but he subtly mocks those who were in the wrong through their actual characters.
McKay is nominated for the BAFTA award of Best Director and it is clear why. Personally, I didn’t enjoy having to watch the film through shaky footage and dodgy cuts, but it is deliberately done and very justifiable to the telling of the story. The shots and cuts annoyed me for a while at the start admittedly but overall a decent, interesting film. 7/10.