As a self-proclaimed film buff (which most definitely does not make me a real film buff) I have taken it upon myself to watch as many of the 2016 Oscar nominated films and review them right here for your enjoyment. I know, you’re welcome. Hopefully my reviews will save you the trouble of getting up off your ass and going to the actual movies or at least save you a couple of bucks. If this starts to get annoying please tell me before I continue reviewing all of them. Time is money folks!
-The Chic Working Woman
The Big Short
Best Supporting Actor
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Film Editing
This review probably won’t save you any money, because what I am going to tell you is this: WATCH THIS MOVIE. Maybe I’m totally late, but I know that I didn’t learn what a mortgage was until very recently. So a “subprime mortgage loan”? Forget about it. The Big Short tells the story behind the causes of the 2008 recession, which we all remember happening…which is what makes this film so interesting. Instead of telling this story through a boring documentary (though there probably is one) this movie is catered towards people who don’t know what a subprime mortgage loan is and so they tell you.
What makes the movie is its cast. In addition to its many other nominations, Christian Bale, who plays a socially awkward hedge fund manager who is the first to realize that doom is approaching the US housing market, was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor. I’ve loved Christian Bale ever since he played Laurie in Little Women and though he’s not as sexy in this role, he’s an amazing actor and so convincing that you forget he ever was sexy.
Ryan Gosling plays a very Ryan Gosling-y part, but his role is essential and precisely what makes this movie so much fun to watch. Just when you begin to tune out as the cast members use terms like “subprime mortgage” and “collaterized debt obligations”, Gosling turns and faces the camera, acknowledging that it’s starting to get a little confusing. He then introduces an entirely new scene, starring real celebrities playing themselves, who go on to explain these terms to us (the audience) in “real people speak,” such as through Selena Gomez who explains synthetic CDOs over a game of Black Jack and Margot Robbie who explains these pesky subprime mortgage loans while drinking champagne in a bubble bath.
These particular segments are just one of the many effects that make this movie so interesting to watch. The movie plays kind of like a highlight reel as it moves through the years leading up to 2008, flashing clips of music videos, photographs of pop culture icons, and paparazzi photos of the outfits celebrities were wearing at the time, completely submersing the audience into recent American history and to help us truly understand the shady business that was happening on Wall Street during these years.
More importantly it felt entirely relevant watching this movie just one day after hearing Obama say in his State of the Union, “Food stamp recipients did not cause the financial crisis. Recklessness on Wall Street did,” a sentence that made me scream “AMEN” alone in my minivan.
While The Big Short is real and its truth is actually pretty frightening, I think I laughed out loud the whole time, had fun all the way through, and learned a lot. What more can you ask for?