Margin Call

Booking a Victorian ski trip over the wettest weekend during the season, investing in JB Hi-Fi three months out from USD/AUD parity, Wall Street 2.

Yep, if I had to list them, these represent my three biggest disappointments of 2010. But while I probably need to suck it up and admit poor foresight for the latter two, I can’t excuse Oliver Stone ruining the legacy of the 1987 classic with the pedestrian, cash-grabbing insult that was ‘Money Never Sleeps’.

Oliver, how could you get it so wrong?! Here you had the opportunity to dust off Gordon Gekko, one of the most – in equal parts – beloved and loathed characters from that period of excess and greed, and place him as the protagonist amongst the biggest financial crisis of our generation. Instead, we get ‘GFC for dummies’ with the guy from Transformers and a disgustingly gratuitous cameo curtosy of the guy off Two and a Half Men.

But all hope is not lost. Fresh out of the Sundance Film festival come MARGIN CALL, which by all reports sounds like it might-just-be the film Wall Street 2 should have delivered.

It’s been three years since a liquidity shortfall in the US banking system ushered in an era of unimagined global financial turbulence. Now, while terms such as mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations have since entered the public lexicon, the subject matter is still yet to be explained and explored  in a way mainstream auidences can understand.

The film examines the people and actions of an investment bank, loosely modelled on Lehman Brothers, during a 24 hours period following the discovery that a significant portion of the investments they hold are actually worthless. On the same day, HR has just fired the head of investment risk, who, as leaving, hands a junior analyst a datastick with a report he’s working on, stating “something big is unfolding”.

At it’s base, Margin Call is made up of one of the best casts in recent Hollywood memory: Kevin Spacey,Paul BettanyJeremy IronsZachary QuintoSimon BakerPenn BadgleyStanley TucciDemi Moore.

I’m especially excited about Kevin Spacey dusting off a suit following prior stella performances in testosterone and dialogue driven productions such Glengarry Glen Ross, and Swimming with Sharks.

Having worked in finance for a number of years I’m hopeful for an interesting perspective on the mechanics of an organisation in crisis.

Reviews out of Sundance are excellent thus far. Fingers crossed director J.C. Chandor creates a numbers-thriller with the direction and drive of Boiler Room or The Bank, not Money Never Sleeps.

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2 Responses to “Margin Call”
  1. at work says:

    The original Wall Street was great, but haven’t got around to watching the second due to largely Shia leboof (or whatever his stupid name is) being a central character and ordinary reviews it received.

    This movie looks interesting, will be listening out for the release date.

    And for whovere hasn’t watched Glengarry Glen Ross you need to get it out if just to watch Alec Baldwins motivational speech/abuse to the staff.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mel Pay, Stephen Colman. Stephen Colman said: I wrote a blog post previewing one of the films I'm really excited about for 2011, Margin Call: […]

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