I loved this movie. A very smart script, a great ensemble cast and a rapid fire, black comic look at the financial industry and the economic collapse of 2008. It manages to explain the complexities of the events that led to the crash and show us that it really wasn’t that complex. It was clear to some that it was bound to happen but the financial industry, banks and ratings companies all conspired to keep a very unstable and likely criminal process going that ended up devastating the lives of millions of people worldwide. The knock on the film is that it is really very funny and some feel the issue is too serious to be taken apparently so lightly. I disagree. The humour is very black and while I laughed I was also horrified. The characters all benefit greatly from the meltdown as they bet that it would happen and won very big. They are thrilled and in some cases very cold about the situation. The exception is Steve Carrell’s character who while benefitting is clearly also stunned that the whole thing could happen. The truth is that there was nothing these characters could do to change the situation so they took advantage of it. They couldn’t blow the whistle because they were not in positions of power to do so. The film makers use their stories to demonstrate how bizarre the whole thing was and how easily it could have been stopped if the greedy people who created it had obeyed the law and basic moral principles.
Christian Bale is nominated for Best Supporting actor but Steve Carrell also deserves a nomination in my opinion and the understated performance of Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling are great. I have been a Steve Carrell fan for many many years. His start on The Daily Show and his role in The Office are classic in themselves but his recent ventures into dramatic roles shows an actor with a range of talent. He has had many nominations but only one win for The Office and he deserves more. It is still early in his film career but I suspect we will see an Oscar or Golden Globe in the not too distant future. So – bottom line? This is a great film, entertaining and informative and with a message to deliver. Enjoy.