The Twenty-First Century

Margin Call [2011]

Even if it had nothing else to offer, “Margin Call” would be worth seeing for its cast, which features Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci, Zachary Quinto and Paul Bettany. But first time director J.C Chandor’s feature has a lot going for it aside from an all star cast. The setting is a major investment bank in Manhattan, where a series of unexpected firings take place. As risk management specialist Tucci is escorted out of the office, he gives some information to one of his employees (Quinto), urging him to look into it, but warning him to be careful. What follows is a revelation that will lead to a series of all night meetings with the company’s CEO, played by Jeremy Irons. As you might’ve guessed, “Margin Call” depicts the last night before the 2008 financial crisis. We can still recall these days, when one firm after the other was forced to declare bankruptcy, the nation’s economic structure went down, and thousands of people lost their houses, savings, and jobs. But “Margin Call” doesn’t really focus on that, but rather on the 24 hours that lead to this unstable situation. Director J.C Chandor employs an excellent cast who can turn financial talk into absorbing dialogue. Take Iron’s character for instance: a sly, ruthless man who considers his job as an exercise in amorality. He’s the kind of man who made it to the top by not giving a damn about people. I also admired Kevin Spacey’s performance, whose only concern is his dying dog. With people like that around, you know for sure that you might not enjoy “Margin Call”. But prejudices aside, this is the best Wall Street movie since Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street”. Period.

Rating: 3/4

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