Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving MI5 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the... See full summary »
A respected financial company is downsizing and one of the victims is the risk management division head, who was working on a major analysis just when he was let go. His protégé completes the study late into the night and then frantically calls his colleagues in about the company's financial disaster he has discovered. What follows is a long night of panicked double checking and double dealing as the senior management prepare to do whatever it takes to mitigate the debacle to come even as the handful of conscientious comrades find themselves dragged along into the unethical abyss. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The CEO's name, John Tuld, rhymes with the name of the ex-CEO of the now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers, Richard S. Fuld. Lehman Brothers, like the firm in this film, found themselves catastrophically over-leveraged in mortgage-backed-securities in the financial crisis of 2008. They eventually declared bankruptcy, and Richard Fuld was heavily criticized for his involvement in these events. See more »
When driving home from the office, Sam is seen in his car wearing a different dress shirt than the one he wore in the office. After being called back, he is again wearing the shirt he wore during the day. Then, the next business day he is wearing the one he wore in the car the night before. See more »
Perfect visualization of recent financial crisis, showing how people on all levels in the financial industry act and think
I saw this film as part of the Ghent filmfestival 2011. Its announcement promised an inside view in the financial industry, and particularly how it could cause the recent financial crisis. And precisely this is what it did splendidly. I gave it a "very good"mark (5 out of 5) for the public prize competition when leaving the theater.
I particularly liked the way they avoided the techno babble about financial products, from which we all learned the hard way to be paper constructs only, none of these related with things in the real world. The story also clearly illustrates that higher echelons in the financial industry do not understand those technicalities either, something we assumed all along but didn't dare to ask for confirmation.
Departing from the very different purposes and backgrounds of the main characters, the story line got us involved in the attempts of each of them to cope with the situation at hand. Though their job motivations may drastically differ from yours and mine, this film had no really distinct good and bad guys.
The main characters were properly introduced in the time-line when logically needed. We got the chance to know each of them, with their own coping behavior in this volatile environmeant, yet everyone bringing along his own human characteristics. In the process we also saw the golden chains to attach each of them to the company, making it virtually impossible to cut themselves loose from this line of work. We may call it greed, but it is a fact of life that everyone gets used to incoming cash flow, however large and unnecessary it may seem in our eyes. Once being there, it is logical to buy a bigger house and to send kids to expensive schools. After that there is no easy way back, and each one smoothly grows into a life style that is difficult to escape from.
The story line as such is not that important, apart from the fact that it succeeds very well in tying all the above together. It also maintains a constant tension all the time. I consider both aspects an achievement in itself, since nothing really happens in terms of dead bodies, physical fights, and chasing cars. Only a few short scenes were shot outside, but all the rest happened in a standard office building. The final outdoor scene was a bit unexpected (I won't spoil it for you), but it shows that even bankers are human after all.
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