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“Margin Call” – Review (POSITIVE)

October 26, 2011

1987, Oliver Stone released his vision of the monsters of Wall Street. ‘Greed is good’ the line used by countless business majors and junior market analyst all over the country. Well, I think we’ve got a better line, and it comes from JC Chandor’s “Margin Call”. Jeremy Irons’ character in the film is an up & up CEO executive who’s called in to basically liquidate the firm he runs in the midst of the 2008 economic crash. Near the end he says something that really stuck to mind, ‘Its just money, it’s made up piece of paper’.

“Margin Call” is a more realistic approach in my opinion to the world of Wall Street, than how Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” is portrayed. People today, who’re not in that scene, don’t truly understand the gravity of what kind of monsters basically run our country. We’re ants to these people, “Margin Call” gives us the brutal truth regarding how we as a country fell economically three years ago. Not even 2008, but on the subject of 2000, 1987, 1929, the dates go on. In a sick way, it’s tradition for our country to fall into this pit.

Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, “Margin Call” is a money thriller unlike any you’ve ever seen. All involving the key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. When an entry-level analyst, Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto), unlocks the information that his previous boss (Stanley Tucci) left him, it could prove to be the downfall of the firm, as they know it. A roller-coaster ride develops as decisions both financial and moral sling the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster.

The fluency the film has is incredible. Starting off smooth like any normal day, transitioning to the harsh reality of firing employees; email revoked, corporate cell phones shut down, etc. When the discovery of the so-called ‘shit bag’ the firm is heading into, it becomes a constant drive of tension. Let’s face it, you know how the movie is gonna end, but the rapid intensity leading to it is enthralling.

The acting is extremely solid. A top-notch cast is provided to lead this movie into the storytelling supremacy it’s intended to be. Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany, Simon Baker, and Zachary Quinto are all in top form. Especially Qunito, who’s credited as producer, his character is the center purpose that drives the story.

For a debut film by JC Chandor, it’s quite impressive how smart and tightly wound this movie really is. I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that he’s come from this background, this world of Wall Street. Either that, or he’s close with someone on the inside to bring this story into full light, since this film is based on a true story.


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