Margin Call (2011)

So the other day I was in the mood for something heavier, and I decided I'd learn something more about the 2008 financial crisis by watching Margin Call. I've seen several movies revolving around it before, but none of them made things clearer for me. If anything, they made me even more confused. So I watched this hoping to understand what happened and yet again I was disappointed. 

J.C. Chandor's movie takes on the beginning of the financial crisis, following a nameless investment bank as one of the traders (Zachary Quinto) discovers that their models are wrong and their large amount of assets worth less than they are marked at. He calls his supervisors and what follows is a very long night of panicking and emergency meetings. 

That plot is beyond boring and easily the worst part about Margin Call. Since it starts from one of the Junior traders figuring it all out, most of it consists of someone introducing their boss and every single one of them, the bosses, reacting the same way. 

And the Oscar-nominated script doesn't have anything to offer to make the film more interesting. The characters are flat, they don't have a background, they don't have motivations (okay, they have motivations but they are incredibly weak) and I just couldn't care less about them. Also, there's no real conflict between them.

Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions, Benaroya Pictures
Another problem is that dialogue does all the talking. The problem with it is that the dialogue, instead of being informative, is dreadfully boring and half of it didn't make any sense to me. I don't have an economic background, but I was interested in learning more about what went wrong with their models. Also, from a movie called 'Margin Call', I was expecting it to be way more informative. 

I get that Chandor wasn't trying to explain the technical causes of the crisis, but rather he wanted to focus on the human factor, the lack of values, and that those people don't care about other people's lives but only about making money, but the script was just too weak for me to do that properly.

However, there's an upside to this film, the acting. I'm not that surprised given the people involved in this (Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, etc), and yet it was surprisingly good considering what the actors had to work with, especially from Irons and Simon Baker. And the cinematography is quite beatufiul as well.


  1. I'm with you on this one, it is boring and I forgot most of it immediately after watching it.

  2. I have wanted to see it but is down on my list