What I think seems to interest people most about this film is the subject and the level of talent involved here, but I’m not sure this is a movie that a lot of people can grasp because of the level of information that could easily go over the average person’s head. I wonder if that’s the bottom line? Confuse, distort, yet somehow give it a ring of truth so that someone will buy whatever you have to sell. How many average Americans are going to understand all of the technical jargon when all that’s separating them from “The American Dream” is signing a piece of paper for a cheap loan that they can’t afford long-term, that banks are willing to give them?
This movie is shown through the point of view of several characters with narration by Ryan Gosling (along with cameos from Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie) who breaks the fourth wall every so often to explain the ins and outs of the corrupt financial system, that, as I said, are often very technical, even in the “dumbed down” versions that are presented.
Steve Carell plays the film’s central character, Mark Baum, who seems to represent our outrage over what’s going on. Yet, even Mark, seems to bow to the almighty dollar by the end, in spite of himself. Who wouldn’t when it seems the world is crashing around their ears?
Beyond Steve Carell (and Brad Pitt who has a very small role), everyone in this film only seems to care about money. It’s as if everyone has sold their soul for it. There’s a telling moment where two side characters bet against the United States economy and they’re jokingly dancing. Brad Pitt stops them and explains to them exactly what they’re dancing for. The fall of the economy, thousands of lives ruined.
Overall, this is a good film with an interesting subject, although some of it went over my head at times (which may just be a testament to my intelligence) but it’s still an interesting, though infuriating, look into the financial crisis.