McKay‘s Oscar nominated dramedy is well made and performed in a thought-provoking story about the men who predicted the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
Gosling is at his charismatic, egotistical best as ambitious banker Jared Vennett. Bale is excellent as the awkward yet cocky genius, Michael Burry. Carrell is good as astute, aggressive banker, Mark Baum, whose discovery of the imminent economic meltdown provokes a touching emotional catharsis.
The scenes with eager young traders are less interesting except for their interactions with anti-capitalist hippy Ben Rickert (Pitt), who constantly reminds them of the suffering this crisis will cause.
Despite this moment, the film avoids over-preaching the desperate situation, rather focusing on the men who profited from the crash and their moral conflict. In this way the tone is difficult to mark down- it’s a satirical black comedy, an assault on greed, and a crime caper, all at once.
The editing is brilliant; the rapid montages of photos from the crisis insert themselves randomly as a constant source of perspective. Also notable was the jarring sound editing, combining dialogue, noise and music into a cacophonous medley.
The script is exceedingly witty and Gosling’s fourth-wall audience narrations are highly amusing.
McKay’s directing uses celebrity cameos to break down economic jargon to an understandable level. However, a financial understanding is unnecessary to appreciate the film for what it really is- a morality tale about greed and capitalism. Superbly and originally produced, The Big Short is an engaging and energetic film.