4.0, United States/Canada

Margin Call

2011 / J.C. Chandor > Actual Bloomberg terminals and financial terminology without explanations: Have we come this far in cinema? Can we actually approach Wall Street without caricaturing it? Chandor’s one-night-before-the-crisis take of a fictional Bear Stearns-wannabe is a giant step in filmmaking. Finally, we have a thoughtful, deliberate film about the crisis without condescension or a moral high-ground. Amidst the cries of crowds at Occupy Wherever, we are charmed with a thriller that allows us to track the moment of discovery to the impending fallout, all while focusing on the humanity of the situation. It doesn’t matter whether one is a socialist or a capitalist, the reality is that truth often gets pounded by hearsay as long as it serves a greater purpose. But every story has two sides, and Margin Call does its damnedest to tell both. Were it not for the gravely miscast Demi Moore and slightly heavy expository dialogue, this could really have been one for the books. Still, the film is a must-see for anyone trying to dig into the psyche of those who stood at the foundation of a crisis that some will never forgive.