"The Big Short" is one the most notable films coming into awards season this year as it is supported by its star studded cast. Which includes Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan gosling and Brad Pitt. The Film is directed by Adam Mckay who is most known for his works with Will Ferrell and his recent foray into big dramas with "Moneyball". Both "Moneyball" and "The Big Short" are films based off of books written by Michael Lewis an extremely notable writer in both finance and statistics. Adam Mckay beautifully adapts Michael Lewis's writings into a relatable and funny piece of film that is both informative and entertaining.
"The Big Short" is the true story of the 2008 housing crash and how the economy came crashing down with it. It follows the story's of four Wall Street bankers and how they made it out alive. The most intriguing character whom we are first introduced to at the beginning of the film is Dr. Michael Burry played by Christian Bale. He is the first to discover that the housing market will in fact crash and that it is a "ticking time bomb". Dr. Michael Burry puts a large amount of money against the housing market and comes out a very wealthy man. With so many stars throughout the film the story jumps from star to star creating a very kinetic atmosphere at first. However once their paths cross, in particular when Ryan Gosling and Steve Carrell's characters meet the story begins to get more comfortable to watch.
The part of the film that was most entertaining for me was the constant break of the fourth wall to explain certain finance terms. these breaks in the fourth brought me back to a Scorsese esque style of filming where the protagonist pauses the scene in order to explain back story and terms to the audience. The movie combines numerous cameos from A-list celebrities to break the fourth wall and explain terms that would have not been otherwise understood by the average movie goer. This style of explaining things throughout the movie adds a new level of entertainment to the movie as well as getting the viewer engaged.
At times the movie can be very depressing as the topic can hit very close to heart for some. For the movie uses a documentary style of editing that is similar to that of Michael Moore, that engages the viewer to feel pity for those affected by the travesties that occurred in 2008. Brad Pitts character explained the situation very well as he explains by saying that " Although him and his colleagues are profiting off of the housing market crash, millions of people will lose their homes and jobs as a result". This lets us put the situation into perspective, as we see that all actions have consequences. Even though the four main characters were betting against the mistakes made by big banks, they were still profiting off of the less fortunate.
All the Actors in the film do a great job of expressing how their characters feel towards the situation and what is going on in the world around them. Steve Carrell demonstrated once again that he not just the comedic actor that we all know and love him for. He is much much more than that as we saw last year with his performance in "Foxcatcher" this year he does not disappoint in "The Big Short" as he plays an angry business man whom thinks the world is out to get him. Christian Bale does a great job at playing the socially awkward genius who is a wall street outcast, he proves all his investors wrong by discovering the "ticking time bomb" that was within the housing market. Brad Pitt does a great job at taking somewhat of a back seat with his character as an ex investment banking guru turned hipster. Ryan Gosling plays the classic wall street business man that we know and love, and most recently saw Leonardo Dicaprio play in the Wolf of Wall Street. Gosling plays the Wall Street banker who always has some sort of a swagger behind him, he carries himself as if he has no conscience yet he always knows whats coming next. All of these actors are supported by a stellar supporting cast which includes Finn Wittrock, John Maggaro, Rafe Spall, Hamish Linklater and Jeremy Strong.
At times the camerawork in the film can be extremely engaging, at times it can fall short. Director Adam Mckay has proved us yet again that he is not only a director of comedy movies. However I do not feel that he deserved the nomination for Best Director in this years up coming Oscars. Don't get me wrong Adam Mckay did a great job with his raunchy fourth wall jokes, his documentary style editing at times and fast paced story line, these are all great traits but Adam Mckay did not adopt them. If Adam Mckay wants to cement himself as one of Hollywoods great directors he must first find his own style and character in which he directs. After watching " The Big Short" I realized that he borrowed many styles first used by directors Martin Scorsese and MIchael Moore.
All in all the film did a great job at enlightening us on the great housing crash of 2008 through the stories of four brave business man. The film did not live up entirely up to the expectations of mine going into seeing it. However it did prove to me that Wall Street is extremely exciting.
You can catch "The Big short" at the majority of Cineplex theatres in Toronto. If you Can wait until March 15th, 2016 than you can get your hands on the DVD and BlueRay releases.