An alumni from my school had a large part with this film so there have been numerous mentioning of it on campus and it is now running on our movie channel. I always feel slightly obligated to check out films any alumni are involved with.
In a nutshell Margin Call is about Wall Street and the recent financial crisis. The film takes place within a 24 hour period and focuses on a firm dealing with a crisis. It’s all about men (and women) in suits running around and scheming. In many ways I guess it resembles political thrillers that are set up the same way. More specifically however the film is supposed to be loosely based off the Lehman Brothers. I am not the most informed person about any of this, so I’m just going by what others have said as far as the details of it being “based off of” goes.
I’ve already pointed out my lack of knowledge about the “real” content of the movie and fortunately J.C. Chandor took note of this. One way of putting it is that the film is “dumbed down” and it sort of is. The script is easy enough to follow as far as understanding the company’s crisis. It get’s repeated enough and certain characters take on the role of the audience in wanting the situation put in english. Still, I felt like it was maybe a bit too vague at times. I understand cutting out some jargon, but I felt like that was all that was done. Maybe I was too tired or I really was just that clueless, but it felt like it took me too long to really grasp what the hell was going on. I understood their was trouble, but not really any details. Maybe I just wanted more detail.
The movie is really nice though. Again the comparison too a political thriller seems fitting and not just because everyone is running around in a suit. You have a crisis in which powerful (and wealthy) people are assessing a situation, creating plans, making deals, and all that sort of stuff that makes up those thrillers. I felt the movie did a good job at creating that atmosphere while not trying to spend the whole time pointing fingers at anyone.
And the cast was great. I mean Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, and Zachary Quinto. That’s a lot of firepower and the all hold their own. For some reasons Jeremey Iron’s suit bothered me. He just looked out of pace in it, but that’s kinda trivial. They all have great performances.
It’s not necessarily a fast paced movie and it kind of has a specific audience. A lot of people wont want to watch a bunch of guys running around in suits and just talking and some wont be able to follow whats going on. I think Chandor handled the material pretty well and for his first feature it was pretty damned good.
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