“The Big Short” is a movie that satisfies on multiple levels. It was written/directed by Adam Mckay, the man who wrote a few of the most widely known comedies of the last decade or so (Anchorman, Step Brothers, The Other Guys), and the film shows it. It is filled with hilarious one-liners and though the movie is long, the pacing never slows. The comedy can be taken for granted, though; its the many other things the film gets right that surprised me.
Adam McKay’s style is definitely unique, and he really had a chance to show it in “The Big Short”. It was shot with almost mockumentary style camera work, and the editing was as frantic as the pacing. We can obviously point to Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd, a man who has shot many thrillers (Notably “The Hurt Locker”), and editor Hank Corwin. The movie was unique not only in its technical aspects but also in its modes of storytelling – there are a few hilarious scenes in which celebrities
(real screenshot from the film!!!)
(Margot Robbie in a bubble bath and Selena Gomez in a casino, to name a few) look directly into the camera and explain some of the confusing financial aspects of the film. Many characters break the fourth wall throughout the film as well, including RYAN GOSLING.
Not to mention the fact that the film skillfully tells its story from multiple vantage points (various banks, bankers, investing groups, lenders, and normal Americans), which all lead to one inevitable climax.
All of these aspects were totally unexpected and completely entertaining, and I can’t wait to see McKay keep making films like this.
The film may be billed as a comedy, but don’t let that outshine it’s dramatic aspects. It deals with extremely serious subject matter, and we are reminded time and time again that the actions of these few wall street men are affecting millions of normal Americans.
(Bernie 2016, anybody???)
The film walks a veeeeery tight rope when it comes to balancing comedy and drama, and it does it successfully. It will make you love and hate its morally ambiguous characters, who sort-of-accidentally-get-rich-but-feel-bad-about-it.
STEVE CARELL IS A GIFT SENT FROM ABOVE.
Seriously though. I may have a soft spot in my heart for Michael Scott, but up until recently, most of us have really only seen him as a lovable goof. His character in the film is hilarious, no doubt, but his performance was so layered.
Sure, the film had other great actors. Christian Bale is a given, and so is Brad Pitt. And Ryan Gosling did his sexy-douchey-dreamboat thing as always (Not to mention a surprise appearance by Amelia Pond herself.
I’m not single Karen, but I could be…).
Steve Carell hit all of the right notes. He was hilarious, dignified, flawed, headstrong, and vulnerable all at the same time. “The Big Short” served as another showcase for his depth and talent (Don’t forget he got a Best Actor nomination for “Foxcatcher”!), and he was the high point of the movie for me.
“The Big Short” is definitely a movie worth seeing. My only negative is the financial jargon (I’ll admit I had no idea what the hell was going on about 67.89% of the time, even with the bathtub cutaways). If you want to be educated and entertained on a subject that pertains to all of us, go see this film!