Top Ten Movies of 2015 — Number Nine

9 big

Approaching ten years since the heartless, virulently irresponsible greed of countless Wall Street hooligans decimated the United States housing market, the one part of the nation’s economy thought to be practically bulletproof, and nearly took the entire global financial network down with it, and the repercussions against the perpetrators have been practically nonexistent. Damning journalism and ferocious editorials haven’t shifted the national narrative. Maybe comedy can help.  In adapting Michael Lewis’s the non-fiction book The Big Short, which itself is infused with an apoplectic wryness, filmmaker Adam McKay brings his long history as a boisterously committed comic voice (mostly working with Will Ferrell) to bear on this examination of the havoc wreaked by those who scattered their soiled casino chips all across the roulette table of the corrupted home mortgage system. Most perversely, McKay settles the film’s appreciative focus on those figures who profited enormously by correctly predicting the mountains were going to crumble, a moral dichotomy that provides fascinating friction, largely because it is addressed directly. The film is aswirl with details and stories, occasionally presented in wildly creative ways, and bolstered by a game, engaged cast, led by career-best work from Steve Carell and a stealthily nuanced supporting turn by Christian Bale. The Big Short probably won’t have a transformative effect, but at least it serves as an invaluable cinematic document of the damage that was done and how it happened, proving that comedy can be as scathing as the harshest drama.

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