With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.
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)
Grace Gummer, Meryl Streep's third child and an actress herself, was set to appear in a scene in which she played Zachary Quinto's ex girlfriend. Due to what the director and producer called "poor directorial work" during the shoot, the scene was cut off the film. It can be seen, however, in the "Deleted Scenes" section of the DVD. See more »
When Ashley Williams asks Zachary Quinto if he is Eric Dale she is carrying a clipboard. When she gets to Eric Dale's office she no longer has the clipboard. See more »
It's difficult to review Margin Call. Those of us who were close to the events of 2008 will find something personal in the story-telling. Others may see it as more examples of greed and hubris. In any case, the following observations apply to both groups.
The performances are top notch. Everyone from Zachary Quinto to Demi Moore brings their A-game. Even supporting characters are oddly fleshed out for a film with such an ensemble cast. Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany give the performances of their careers, I think. Only the Jeremy Irons character (John Tuld, aka Dick Fuld) feels a bit over the top, while the rest are truly believable well-rounded depictions.
Despite having good characters and amazing cinematography, the film lacks plot. The backdrop and setting are tense, but this doesn't feel like a "movie" in the traditional sense. There's no evolution of characters, no arcs, and the ending may leave some wanting. You can compare it to Michael Mann films where plot and pace are unconventional.
Not sure how the film will perform commercially, given the material is esoteric. If you're a film buff (and enjoy great performances) or you've been in finance, this is a must-see. Other may likely pass.
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