Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Movies about banking and the economy seem to be few and far between. This is mainly due to the fact that they often struggle to make it understandable to the mainstream audience. Dialogue consisting largely of numbers, and words nobody’s ever heard tends to do that. However, every once in a while, we get a truly fantastic movie set in that area. This latest attempt has received quite a lot of buzz and even picked up a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.
The Big Short stars Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt. That all-star cast alone would be cause for you to go see this film. Then throw in there that this is director Adam McKay’s first really big take on a dramatic subject. McKay, who is famous for directing films such as Anchorman, Talladega Knights, and Step-Brothers, is usually a comedic director. Although, his newest film The Big Short takes on a story that is no joke. The collapse of the U.S. Housing Market in the mid-2000s. So does McKay work for this film? Does it deserve all the attention it’s getting?
Any film with a complicated plot has one huge obstacle to overcome, making it comprehensible to the audience. It’s a difficult thing to pull off. You want to dumb it down enough to make it understandable, but you don’t want to make it too obvious that you are dumbing it down. In my opinion, The Big Short failed at that. It tries it’s hardest not to be too complex with its numbers and terms. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to pull it off as well their predecessors.
While I did enjoy The Big Short, I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. The overall story was a little too convoluted and busy. Contrary to what the marketing would have you believe. It’s not about Bale, Carrell, Gosling, and Pitt, working together for financial reasons. No, this movie is composed of three (sometimes four) separate story-lines revolving around one singular event. It was disappointing having this immense talent in a film like this, and then not have them interact with each other.
This storytelling technique was an ambitious way to go about it, but I believe it was the wrong choice in the long run. There seemed to be too much going on. You couldn’t really get connected to these characters, because whenever that connection would start to form they’d jump away to a different character. Each story had very interesting details, but they weren’t able to explore them as much as you’d like because they were trying to focus on too much.
The direction by Adam McKay was worth noting, mainly because it is a very different genre than he is used to. However, it pales in comparison to most other films of this type. While McKay did a good job, he did not deserve a Best Direction nomination at the Oscars.
The performances that the entire lead cast gave were fantastic. It’s sad because they could have been even better had they been given scenes to play off of each other. Moving on from that, the whole cast did great in their respective roles. Brad Pitt was very believable as someone who used to work on Wall Street. Pitt was able to convey his character’s standpoint on the issues at hand very well. Steve Carrell proved in this film that Foxcatcher wasn’t a one-off for him. Carrell showed again that he is very successful as a dramatic actor. Expect to see more roles like this for him in the future. Ryan Gosling was the weakest of the bunch, but he still gave a noteworthy performance. Christian Bale was by far the best of all the actors in this film. His character was this guy that doesn’t have very good social skills. He keeps to himself and just knows the numbers. What could have been a very boring character was turned into an enthralling one simply because of all the little mannerisms and emotions that Bale was able to convey.
Overall, The Big Short is a pretty decent film. A majority of that enjoyment comes from the performances that were given, particularly Christian Bale. It is a bit overrated, and it bites off a little more than it can chew. The storytelling was way too crowded, and it was very difficult to follow at times. While I still enjoyed the film and would recommend it if you like movies like this, I found myself wondering when it was going to be over. Immediately after seeing the film I liked it quite a bit, but my opinion on that has gradually changed in the days following. I don’t think this film deserves a Best Picture nominee, that slot should have gone to better films such as The Hateful Eight, or Inside Out.
What did you think of The Big Short? Do you think it should have been nominated for Best Picture? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie news and reviews!
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