Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Big Short - 9 stars out of 10

The Big Short - 9 stars out of 10

“The Big Short” is set apart from other films by a completely unique style.  The subject matter is very serious and easily could have been presented in a hip, “The Social Network”-esque way; however, director Adam McKay took it in the opposite direction.  His portrayal of these events feels very personal, as if we are interacting with the characters throughout their experiences.  One of the most amazing aspects of the film is that it takes an incredibly confusing banking concept and makes it understandable to any layman by cutting away from the story to have Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, and Selena Gomez blatantly explain it.  I wasn’t sure of how I felt about it at first but it works great.  They even show us a scene that plays out as we would expect… and then a character breaks the fourth wall to tell us that it actually happened differently.  It's genius.  The creative approach and execution of this style earned it Oscar nominations for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.  Editor Hank Corwin knows just when to make a quick cut between scenes and he creatively signifies the passing of time through montages of pop culture.  The acting is the quality that you would expect from Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt playing four completely opposite personalities.  Every scene is entertaining because every scene revolves around one of these actors.  I feel that Carell deserved an Oscar nomination more than Bale, and certainly deserved a nomination for this role more than he did last year for "Foxcatcher."  Then again, maybe I just loved him because his character was another iteration of Michael Scott from “The Office.”  Once the economic collapse occurs (don’t worry, that wasn’t a spoiler unless you somehow failed to realize that the United States suffered a horrific economic collapse in 2007), the story got a little difficult to follow.  Honestly, I think it’s because the film’s focus shifts to the economy and away from the personal interactions that we’ve felt with the main characters.  It’s amazing that all of this played out without anybody realizing what was going on until it was too late.  “The Big Short” captures a huge chapter in American history through an eccentric perspective.  There is a lot of language but the film is just something that you have to see to understand.

[Pictured: Carell's performance and the film's unique style make it a must-see]

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