Well folks, we made it to the home stretch. It’s now time to enter the coveted position of Top 10 films of last year (at least my Top 10). I consider this period my personal Oscars ceremony; except if this were the Oscars it would instead be the Top 8 despite the fact that I can nominate up to 10 films… Anyway, for a film to make it this far, it has to be one of two things: incredibly well-made or extremely awesome. Those are the two things that matter to me, and those that fit both criteria are likely to reach the top. To kick things off, let’s talk about a film worthy of the first category.
The Big Short is a semi-anthology story based on the housing crash of 2008. For far too long, the people that make up Wall Street have abused the American economy for personal gain, creating a bubble that is about to burst and affect the entire country. A man named Dr. Michael Burry spots this bubble and decides to expose it in a way that will make him profit. Burry bets against the “secure” housing market, an idea so absurd that the banks have to accept it. Word of Burry’s gamble reaches the ears of two other parties who follow Burry’s lead.
The Big Short just might be the best made film on this list on a technical level. It’s impressive in so many ways including execution. In order to properly tell this story in a way that will also entertain people, you’d have to either dumb down the financial jargon to appease the masses, or aim purely for an audience who gets the subject matter. The Big Short goes for option 3: teach the audience and keep the jargon. The result is a brilliant film anyone can enjoy.
The story is nothing short of amazing. It’s a true story, though, so I can’t credit anyone for creating the concept. However, I will credit the screenwriters and storyboard writers for balancing all three of these stories as evenly as possible. More than that, each perspective flows into the other and gives off a pretty natural sequence of events.
Then there’s the editing and cinematography, which is where this film stands out. In the wrong hands, this format and style would come off as hectic and nauseating. This movie wears many different hats in terms of genre format (mostly mockumentary and drama). It breaks the fourth wall at times, uses Powerpoint-like segments, and even has three random celebrity cameos that explain whatever term needs explaining at the time. Sounds disastrous, but with Adam McKay’s excellent direction it all comes together nicely. The cameos were an especially good choice and everyone will remember.
Do I even need to discuss the film’s acting? This all-star ensemble of modern-day acting titans do an amazing job as you’d expect. The two stand-outs of this movie will of course be Christian Bale and Steve Carell. Bale, who was Oscar nominated for this role, does an impressive job with a strange character like Burry, making you want to hug him. Carell, who should’ve been nominated for this role, was probably my favorite character here. He’s no nonsense, angry, and hates corruption, all qualities that make me wanna buy him a beer. Brad Pitt does a good job, even though he wasn’t in much of the film, and Ryan Gossling does great at being really charming and relatable.
Man, I love this movie! Though the film’s style may turn-off some people, The Big Short is definitely a winner and I highly encourage all of you, as long as you’re old enough to keep up with the story, to catch it when you have a chance.
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!
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For all entries in the 2015 Movie Countdown, click here!