Monday, January 25, 2016

Movie Review - The Big Short

The Big Short is an excellent movie. Who knew a movie about the housing bubble could be hysterical? This movie is frenetic, serious, comical, fast paced, irreverent, and brilliant in its scathing wit. Michael Lewis wrote the book – it is calm and clearly incisive in explaining how making bets against the housing industry seemed insane, and that banks were too big to fail. The movie throws calm out the window and with a wide range of characters played by Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, and more – we see math and economics come to life as certain individual investors calculated the folly of the subprime mortgage industry.

This movie explores the folly of humans and the trust they put into the financial system. The hubris of Wall Street and the billion dollar money flow proved explosive. The movie explains some of the more esoteric terms (collateralized debt obligations or synthetic CDOs) with examples by chef Anthony Bourdain creating a new stew from three day old halibut, or Selena Gomez at a Vegas gaming table. The movie is splashy and scary as we hear Melissa Leo (an official at Standard & Poor’s) explain away ratings because she can’t have the customer go down the street to Moody’s. As the Wall Street Journal movie review says, “high dudgeon gives way to heightening disbelief, followed by horrified belief, about rampant deception, self-deception, and the system’s frailty.”


Great acting all around. Clever film making about a darn tricky subject. The Big Short is smart and sharp, and as a movie will not sell you short.  Expect to see a lot of Oscar buzz on this one. And unfortunately do we learn from our mistakes? Alas, money makes the world go round, and up and down, and bubbles burst. 

14 comments:

  1. Hi Joanne .. it's definitely got good write ups - and I'm looking forward to seeing it - thanks for the thumbs up here ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. always glad to be advanced party. It's different but slick

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  2. Sounds like a good story! Yes, people put a lot of faith in the financial system. That isn't always a good thing.

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    1. after last week's tumble, we may never retire

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  3. Second great review I've read today. I definitely want to see it.

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    1. and you don't have to shovel to get to a theater!

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  4. Thanks for the review! This sounds great!

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    1. I liked the humor. It starts off crazy and you wonder where the heck this is going, but it gels.

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  5. All this and Ryan Gosling? What's not to like? It sounds very thought-provoking and relevant too. Thank you, Joanne. I'll keep this movie, and the book, in mind. It's clearly a winner.

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    1. Ryan being serious - no shirt off this time

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  6. Sounds like this one has something for everyone...hilarious, irreverent, Bale to Pitt. Great review, thanks! I, too, may never get to retire...again...a second part-time job is not out of the question.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. we're all in the same boat rowing in circles

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  7. I like all of those actors, so I bet the movie is fantastic. Gonna wait for Netflix, though. Going to the movies is just too expensive nowadays.

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    1. not if you are in TX. I go before 6 pm and it's $4.75.......not bad and comfy rocker seats with big screen. TX does it up right.

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