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Margin Call

Submitted by MBergeron on October 23, 2011 – 1:59 pmNo Comment
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I like films that unwind adhering to an Aristolean sense of unity of time and space. Margin Call takes place at a Gotham investment bank over a 24-hour period when they place the straw that breaks the camels back of the economy.

The action starts with the company laying off multiple employees including mid-level manager (Stanley Tucci) who’s working on a formula that equates to the company imploding. A young member on his staff (Zachery Quinto) completes the puzzle and notifies his immediate supervisor (Paul Bettany). The problem gets bumped upstairs and we proceed to meet the higher ups at the company. We go from workers making a couple of hundred grand to the bosses making a couple of million (Kevin Spacey, Simon Baker, Demi Moore) the one-percent big shots who pull in $85-million a year.

As the execs pull an all-nighter determining their sell-off strategy we pull back the covers to reveal the machinations of big business. It’s not pretty.

You almost want to be sitting next to a financial analyst to help explain some of the movie’s technical terms but would you really want to sit next to someone like that as opposed to a real friend? All the meaning and subtext are clear though, these financiers are getting ready to gut the market and cause a tailspin of the national economy and in the meantime are devising ways to save their own asses while copping several million in bonuses.

Margin Call plays dramatically without the histrionics of say Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. The acting from all the talent compels attention across the board and the tension of what will happen to the many characters involved at times has you on the edge of your seat if not feeling your pocket to make sure your wallet is still there.

- Michael Bergeron

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