Saturday, December 26, 2015


THE BIG SHORT is so brilliantly directed, edited and acted that it feels like a seminal cinematic experience, like movies will change as a result of this one. The pacing is so heartbeat consistent and rhythmically compelling that I left the theater amped and it took a while for my own rhythms to calm down.

And it's all the more incredible since the story is one I know, and we all know the ending, and yet the narrative drive is so insistent I felt like I was watching a thriller that kept making me feel tense about the outcome, which I already knew!

And the movie manages to do this with repeated monologues to the audience breaking the fourth wall and even using celebrities to explain the complicated, deliberately, terminology of Wall Street and the banks. It's like the most entertaining history and economics (and politics, though more subtly at that level) lesson anyone will ever get.

Based on the real facts of the economic collapse of 2008 and what caused it and why, it's incredible how engaging it turned out to be. So much so that right now it is at the top of my favorite films of the year, a year which was great for revelatory stories made into artistic triumphs as films, like BROOKLYN, SPOTLIGHT and THE DANISH GIRL to name just a few.

THE BIG SHORT. I would advise seeing it in a big theater with others (the show I saw was packed) so you can get that great communal connection when everyone laughs or sighs or mutters under their breath at the same moment. Yeah, we all got screwed by Wall Street and the banks and it's still happening, but at least when your Fox-watching relatives want to know why you're so sure of that, you can tell them to watch this movie, or else.

[PS: The editor deserves an Oscar nomination at least, and the director Adam McKay—best known until this for Anchorman and Tallledega Nights—who also co-wrote the screenplay (with Charles Randolph from the book by Michael Lewis) deserves a nomination for both directing and screenplay adaptation, and though all the acting was superb—especially Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale—Steve Carell deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and Jeremy Strong for Best Supporting Actor.]


Elinor said...

I saw it yesterday too, Lal. Couldn't agree more with what you've written here!

Lally said...