Tranches, prime mortgages, subprime mortgages, AAA rated bonds… Adam Mckay’s The Big Short cuts through the financial jargon (with a few celebrity cameos to help out) and explains the reason behind the 2007 housing market crash in a hilarious, terrifying and tragic way. The film is based on The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis and won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as being nominated for Best Picture. Michael Burry (Christian Bale) is a hedge fund investor who notices that the housing market is a bubble primed to burst and “shorts” (bets against) the market, standing to make huge profits as millions of Americans lose their homes and are left straddled with debt. The ensemble cast includes Ryan Gosling as Jared Vennett, a dislikable and fourth-wall breaking big bank employee, who happens across Burry’s findings and a stellar Steve Carrel as Mark Baum, who joins sides with Vennet due to his disdain of the big banks — if the bubble bursts surely the banks will lose out? The film managed to take a complex topic and simplify its concepts down without diluting them, and with all the current conversation surrounding Wall Street and shorting stocks, now is truly the perfect time to whack on The Big Short and have Margot Robbie in a bubble bath explain everything succinctly.
But did you know…
1) The clothes that Christian Bale wears in the film are Michael Burry’s actual clothes, according to Michael Lewis, “That’s what Michael Burry was wearing when Christian Bale went to see him, and Christian was like, ‘Can I have your clothes?’”
2) The Big Short is the first feature film that McKay did not cast frequent collaborator Will Ferrell in. We could totally see him working as the Jared Vennett character.
3) According to Hollywood rumours reported by Vanity Fair, Adam McKay wanted to make the film after reading the book, but the studio was not necessarily interested. What they did want was a second Anchorman, which McKay was not interested in. Both films, helmed by McKay, were eventually released, and that’s Hollywood business for you. Also goes some way to explaining Anchorman 2’s existence.