Saturday, December 19, 2015

Movie Review: The Big Short

If all you want to know is whether or not a movie is worth watching, here it is: The Big Short is an astounding example of everything done right as all of the writing, dialog, acting, music, and directing fall together to make a well paced film that will bring out every emotion in your body and leave you tired and worn out, and you must watch this film.

For readers who want more, I can tell you that this is probably one of the best performances seen from Christian Bale, who actually became another character for me and not just another version of what we've seen in every other movie he's been in. Steve Carell's character probably doesn't fall that far from what we've seen from him before, but is emotionally captivating none the less. You get everything you expect from Ryan Gosling, a solid performance that doesn't knock it out of the park but definitely adds more to the film than many other actors would in that role. Finally, Brad Pitt delivers a solid performance that is as understated as possible. What's really impressive about the acting, is that all of these very aggressive actors are blended together perfectly to serve the great picture and pull out the meat of the story for you, and that makes every single one of them superb, even if they don't show off everything the actor is capable of, because sometimes the hardest thing for an actor to do is let the movie be bigger than they are.

That said, it's easy for actors to do great things with great material. Everything here is fantastic. Each and every character has powerful and memorable dialog to deliver as they give you a tour of the events that make up one of the most difficult times that the majority of Americans alive today have had to live through, and the mess leading up to it. The absolutely phenomenal writing oozes out of every single scene. This goes beyond good quips and great sound-bytes and emotional dialog, too. The Big Short delivers accessible and informative views about the tragic oversights and criminal negligence that culminated in the biggest financial crises in decades. More on that later, though, but it's important to say that what makes the writing in this movie shine so bright is how well it communicates the ideas it feels are important in the middle of a hurricane of ideas and information.

And absolutely all of this is pulled together just right by the directing. Adam McKay delivers a thoughtful piece that is well paces, placing your eyes and ears where they need to be to see and here want you need. He blends a tremendous cast from the top billed actors to literally everyone who spends a moment on screen to breathe life into every single concept, regardless of how challenging the ideas are.

All of the pieces of this film come together to elicit powerful emotions, pushing the viewer through fear, terror, joy, trepidation, sadness and ultimately one of the emotions that I have never truly felt from a film before: Rage. This movie should make you angry. It should inspire you to ask what the hell happened and why wasn't anyone held responsible for the events portrayed? This was less than a decade ago and there's evidence that it's all happening all over again, and no one is talking about it anymore as people are victimized from the bottom up and completely betrayed by every single system that should exist for the express purpose of serving our interest, from the evaluation of securities, the oversight of legal investments, and the outrageous conflicts of interest and finally ending on a government that did nothing but pay our money to protect the very people responsible for all of it.

This is probably the only film this year that you have to see, a year filled with nostalgia and quality film making. I highly recommend it to all, and I hope it makes a difference, even if it doesn't seem to think it will.

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