During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.
Three separate but parallel stories of the U.S mortgage housing crisis of 2005 are told. Michael Burry, an eccentric ex-physician turned one-eyed Scion Capital hedge fund manager, has traded traditional office attire for shorts, bare feet and a Supercuts haircut. He believes that the US housing market is built on a bubble that will burst within the next few years. Autonomy within the company allows Burry to do largely as he pleases, so Burry proceeds to bet against the housing market with the banks, who are more than happy to accept his proposal for something that has never happened in American history. The banks believe that Burry is a crackpot and therefore are confident in that they will win the deal. Jared Vennett with Deutschebank gets wind of what Burry is doing and, as an investor believes he too can cash in on Burry's beliefs. An errant telephone call to FrontPoint Partners gets this information into the hands of Mark Baum, an idealist who is fed up with the corruption in the ... Written by
The character Mark Baum was based on real-life money manager Steve Eisman, Jared Vennett was based on real-life trader Greg Lippmann, Ben Rickert was based on Ben Hockett, and Charlie Gellar and Jamie Shipley were based on Charlie Ledley and Jamie Mai. See more »
Jared Vennett receives a bonus check that spells 40 "fourty." See more »
On screen quotation from Haruki Murakami's novel "IQ84":
Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.
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First for newbies, the events here took place prior to the Kevin Spacey film Margin Call (2011). So the Spacey film would have depicted events near the end of this film. Both are superb movies.
Back to the review. This film is very unusual in that the producers have shown fierce determination in taking a serious topic and making it as user friendly as one possibly can. Multiple techniques are used to this end and they all work well. In fact in places the film has a Monty Python quality. Why was this done? One can only assume that the producers understood the multiple studies showing that the modern city-dweller becomes uncomfortable when confronted with any facts which suggest that he or she was not paying attention when bad things were happening. After all we live in a democracy so the voters should have been more alert? Isn't that their job? The techniques mentioned attempt to appeal to our SESAME STREET side and make the whole thing as pleasant an educational experience as possible. But make no mistake, this is an educational movie.
One that should be mandatory for adults. Like getting a driving test before a license. How about learning about Wall Street and the banks before you invest with them...? Carell steals the film and may finally get the attention he deserves. Great actor.
Finally the message. The film suggests not only that Wall Street is corrupt but that the corruption extends to the agencies mandated to supervise Wall Street and (possibly) to Washington itself. The implicit message, conveyed in the end credits, that unless we deal with the problem at the source the symptoms will keep happening over and over and over.
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