Simply put, The Big Short is a tale of the very real housing crisis of the mid-2000's. Three separate, but parallel stories are told. Michael Burry (Christian Bale) - an eccentric hedge fund manager, Wall Street Trader Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) and Mark Baum (Steve Carell) - an idealist fed up with corruption in the financial industry, and the start-up team of Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) partnered with retired investment banker Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) bet against (AKA "short") the housing market via a number of banks that prove naive in realizing the full scope of their issues. For the three groups to win, the general economy has to lose - ultimately, meaning the general investor (AKA the greater American population) who trusts the financial institutions suffers.
Are you lost yet? I know the feeling! Since the story is based off our reality just a short decade ago, there were no real surprises. However, the movie was made in sort of comedic manner. The presentation was a little odd for me given the seriousness of the subject for many who were affected by the crisis, but it did provide a much needed lightness throughout. Christian Bale, nominated for Best Supporting Actor, proved fantastic in his role. His character is off-beat, borderline genius, and certainly on the autistic spectrum. Additionally, he has one false eye from an accident as a boy. Needless to say, he doesn't relate well to others. A challenging role without a doubt...and Bale pulled it off flawlessly. Steve Carell, not nominated, was equally as great in his role. He plays a very serious and perpetually angry man. I really enjoyed his performance.
In the end, I wasn't a huge fan of the movie overall. Mostly because the subject matter didn't really interest me. At first, I tried to keep up (there are various comedic vignettes throughout the film to assist), but ultimately just focused on the various character story lines. If it had been about a half hour shorter, I might have enjoyed it more overall though. As it stands, I'm happy I was able to see such great acting even if I didn't love the movie itself.
My Rating: 3 Stars
Supporting Actor (Christian Bale), Directing (Adam McKay), Film Editing, Adapted Screenplay
Have you seen The Big Short yet?