Thursday, December 24, 2015
The 2007 housing crisis is viscerally played out in this bittersweet, memorizing, and terrific ensemble piece.
Review by Matt CummingsAs a person intimately aware of the 2007 housing crisis, the story behind The Big Short has served as a narrative for too many of my friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Lured by the promise of cheap money that could be refinanced in a over-priced housing market, many lost their homes when the rates became too high and home values began to plunge. The ensemble drama/comedy The Big Short analyzes both the back and front end of the crisis, hoping to finally get people interested in a topic that still demands our full attention. Set in the years leading up to the 2007 housing crisis, The Big Short follows three stories of investors trying to make money for their clients. The housing market has boomed, allowing literally everyone the chance to own a home. As a result, those who have sought to open the doors to de-regulation have made tremendous sums of money. But it's all based on numbers that can't be sustained, and Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale) can see them like no one else. But rather than pull his clients' money out, he makes a bold decision: get the banks to create a new apparatus to short the housing market. Several teams of investors, led by the imagined Mark Baum (Steve Carell) are practicing a kind of social/economic justice against the banks and sees Burry's methods as a great way to stab back at their draconian policies. Others like the made-up Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) serve as both our narrator and chief instigator to getting Baum and others to buy the shorts. As this large group of rich white men begin to take advantage of the rising defaults in the housing market, their fortitude will be tested as they learn just how devious the banks have become in hiding the eventual crisis and what effect his will have on average Americans. Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.