Review by Sean Lynch
Every few years a film comes around that isn't so
much entertaining, enjoyable or informative as it is just simply
Make no bones about it, Margin
Call explores the tricky financial world of Wall Street
and the events that led to one of the greatest Global Financial Crisis'
the world has ever known in enough detail to satisfy even the most
knowledgeable numbers-men... but bugger me if I still can't work out
what a single word meant.
What I do
know is that I was glued to the screen from beginning to end. Perhaps
this says more about me than the film itself - but my point is simple :
regardless of your economic knowledge, Margin Call works.
Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, Margin Call is an
entangling thriller involving the key players at an investment firm
during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008
When an entry-level analyst unlocks information
that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride
ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all
involved to the brink of disaster.
What makes this work is simple : performances.
Much like Clooney's Ides
Of March, despite the familiar territory tread (by now,
thanks to Wall Street
and Boiler Room,
we know Wall Street jerks are just that - jerks) the sheer level of
acting ability on screen (Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons,
Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell and Demi
Moore) is awe inspiring.
Simply watching these folks do what they were born
to do, in close ups, is a joy to behold.
The script from J.C. Chandor is wonderful and
somehow manages to give everyone just enough meat to chew on without
alienating the pacing of the film itself. Think of it as The Avengers without explosions.
A wonderful film which, ultimately, leaves you incredibly depressed
knowing these mega-rich dingleberries are in charge of everything - and
always will be. As Jeremy Irons' ruthless John Tuld (up there with
Gordon Gecko in terms of cinematic bad guys if you ask my opinion)
"So you think we might have put a few people out of business today...
Its just money; its made up. Pieces of paper with pictures on it so we
don't have to kill each other just to get something to eat. It's not
wrong. And it's certainly no different today than its ever been. Happy
foxes and sad sacks. Fat cats and starving dogs in this world. Yeah,
there may be more of us today than there's ever been. But the
percentages - they stay exactly the same".
Well worth seeing before it leaves screens.
Australian release: 15th March,
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy
Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi
Director: J.C. Chandor