Tuesday December 08, 2015

‘That’s America's Housing Market': The Guy Behind ‘Anchorman’ Explains the Global Financial Meltdown

Here's a scene from the upcoming film, “The Big Short,” based upon the book by Michael Lewis, and directed by Adam McKay, who has mostly directed comedies: “Anchorman,” “Talledega Nights,” “Step Brothers,” and “The Other Guys”:

Things to love about this scene:

  • Steve Carrell's impatient, “OK,” after Gosling's opening salvo: “What do you smell?/I smell money.” It's the polite version of, “Get on with it, ClownFace.”
  • “Layers of tranches” leading to an on-screen explanation of “tranches.”
  • “Somewhere along the line, these Bs and Double Bs went from a little risky to dogshit. Where's the trash.”

Plus the fact that they‘re trying to explain why the world works as it does.

Michael Lewis has a nice piece in the latest Vanity Fair on Hollywood turning his books into movies. His take is the antithesis of almost every take I’ve read on Hollywood. To most people, Hollywood is a place full of rapacious, rude, lowest-common-denominator crapmakers. To Lewis, the people in Hollywood are polite, charming, sadly inefficient, but when they get around to it they do a great job making movies from his books, including “Moneyball” and “The Blind Side.” But he never thought anyone would make a movie out of “The Big Short.” Too complicated. Here's the money shot:

High finance touchesóruinsóthe lives of ordinary people in a way that, say, baseball does not, unless you are a Cubs fan. And yet, ordinary people, even those who have been most violated, are never left with a clear sense of how they‘ve been touched or by whom. Wall Street, like a clever pervert, is often suspected but seldom understood and never convicted.

It is my hope that Adam McKay’s†The Big Short†might actually help change this situation.

Opens December 23.†

Posted at 07:17 AM on Tuesday December 08, 2015 in category Trailers  
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