Sunday, February 12, 2012

Margin Call - DVD Review


Starring Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgely, Simon Baker, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci and Aasif Mandvi.
Directed by J.C. Chandor.

This does for millionaire financial analysts what Glengarry Glen Ross did for real estate.  It's not based on any one company, but it wouldn't surprise me if the execs at Lehman Bros. or AIG went through the same thing.

Early in the movie there's a scene where a supervisor Eric (Stanley Tucci) along with 80% of the other workers on his floor.  He passes off a thumbdrive to a co-worker Peter (Zachary Quinto) who opens and tries completing its formulas.  He does that evening, and he calls Eric's boss Will (Paul Bettany) to come back to the office.  Peter shows him the numbers, and Will calls his boss Sam (Kevin Spacey) who then calls other higher-up executives until finally the CEO helipcopters in.

Jeremy Irons is John Tuld, the CEO, and one of the bitings truths the movie captures is that the further up the chain, the less knowhow they actually have, the less work they actually do.  They're there because they make the "hard decisions."  Irons commands every scene he's in, and this is with an already outstanding ensemble.

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