The Big Short
THE BIG SHORT (15)
D: Adam McKay
Paramount/Regency/Plan B (Arnon Milchan, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner & Brad Pitt)
USA 🇺🇸 2015
W: Adam McKay & Charles Randolph [based on the book by Michael Lewis]
DP: Barry Ackroyd
Ed: Hank Corwin
Mus: Nicholas Britell
Christian Bale (Michael Burry), Steve Carell (Mark Baum), Ryan Gosling (Jared Vennett), Brad Pitt (Ben Rickert)
The Big Short is a totally remarkable film due to the fact that there really isn't a good guy in the extraordinary true story that is brought to the screen. The dog-eat-dog world of housing, finance and stocks and shares is laid bare as a quartet of investment traders foresee a scenario where owners of prime real estate could default payments on their mortgages and money can be made by gambling against the banks that the housing market will crash. Michael Burry, a former neurologist turned Wall Street financial expert, heads the action, betting more than $1 billion of his investors money into the scheme, mostly against their wishes.
Screenwriters Adam McKay and Charles Randolph make the plot easy to follow for those who aren't involved in the world of finance without resorting to dumbing down the material. They also lend some humour to the serious subject matter without being sordid or inappropriate.
The ensemble cast are fantastic, especially Christian Bale as Michael Burry and Steve Carell as Mark Baum, possibly the only character with an honest conscience.
The film was nominated for Best Picture at the 2016 Oscars, and in all honesty, it would have been a very credible winner.
Did You Know:
The quotation that appears on screen, "'Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry.' - Overheard at a Washington, D.C. bar," was written by director/co-writer Adam McKay, after unsuccessfully searching for the perfect quotation to use for that segment.