(US - 2015)
Directed by Adam McKay. Written by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay. Cast: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Marisa Tomei, Melissa Leo, Hamish Linklater, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, John Magaro, Finn Wittrock, Adepero Oduye, Karen Gillan, Jeffry Griffin, Byron Mann, Billy Magnusson, Max Greenfield, Stanley Wong, Tracy Letts, Wayne Pere, Al Sapienza. (R, 130 mins)
Based on the book of the same name by Moneyball author Michael Lewis and a good companion piece with J.C. Chandor's 2011 film MARGIN CALL, THE BIG SHORT chronicles the disparate group of hedge fund oddballs and outsiders who predicted the bursting of the mortgage bubble and bet against the American economy when it became apparent that the crash was inevitable. Directed and co-written by frequent Will Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay, THE BIG SHORT treats a serious, devastating subject with cynical and often scathing humor, with an offbeat and occasionally anarchic sensibility that's used conservatively enough that it doesn't wear out its welcome. For instance, when the Wall Street verbiage gets a little too technical for the layman, narrator Jared Vennett (a smooth, sarcastic Ryan Gosling) will break the fourth wall to introduce a celebrity and say something like "And now, to explain this in everyday terms, here's Margot Robbie drinking champagne in a bubble bath," or "Here's world-famous chef Anthony Bourdain..." though at times it opts for the easy route and has an incredulous character say "OK, wait a minute...let me get this straight...are you saying....?"