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Sep 28 2015

YNMS: The Big Short

Manuelhere.Every year there are a number of late-breaking releases that suck up all the oxygen in the room,commanding every conversation because of their timeliness.Of course,every year also sees a number of well-made films get lost in the shuffle.Adam McKay'sThe Big Short,set to close out the AFI Fest,is obviously hoping for the former.Based on the true story and best-selling book by Michael Lewis (The Blind Side,Moneyball),the film is set against the ticking bomb that was the collapse of the housing market.Does it stack up to other Fall prestige releases?Let's find out by putting it to our patented Yes,No,Maybe So test:


"There's some shady stuff going down."

- Ryan Gosling.Isn't it about time we get another great Gosling performance?Ever since hisDrive/Crazy Stupid Loveone-two punch,he's sort of been on a slump,no?That he seems perfectly suited to play a charismatic douchebag only makes it more exciting.

- Brad Pitt.With this andBy the Sea,Brad will be everywhere this fall.And while the Jolie project is surely going to offer us Brad in DRAMAtic mode,I have always enjoyed Brad inBurn After Reading/Inglorious Basterdsmode.He's got such a light touch for absurdist comedy.And yet,the trailer gives him very little to do other than hilariously laugh at that bad stupid/illegal joke.

- Melissa Leo.And with those glasses?CONSIDER,I will!

- Finn Wittrock.So happy he's getting more work post-American Horror Story.Also,I'm pretty sure it's him in that blink-and-you'll-miss-it pool shot (see below).

- TFE fave Billy Magnussen.Did Ryan Murphy cast this film?It's full of very pretty looking men.


"From the outrageous mind of director Adam MckKay."

- Adam McKay.I have to admit I've always been allergic to McKay's films though that has mostly to do with my aversion to Will Ferrell's schtick,so while I've enjoyed parts and pieces of them (Christina Applegate inAnchorman,Mark Wahlberg inThe Other Guys),I am unsure how good a fit he'll be to this film.Or rather,how his sensibility will play within this seriocomic film.I worry the film will strain too much for comedy and improv-like scenes that stretch for far too long (his signature moves).


"You want to bet against the banks?"

- Steve Carell.Listen,I enjoy Carrell quite a bit but I'm not buying him here.Maybe it's the hair?

- Christian Bale.DidAmerican Hustleconvince Bale he needed to lighten up his film roster after all those brooding films?Can he go full goofball while wearing a bad wig… again?

- Karen Gillan & Marissa Tomei.The latter is OBVIOUSLY a YES but: where are they in this trailer?Is this Fall really going to be mostly about large ensembles with token female characters (see:Spotlight,H8teful 8,Black Mass).

Watch the trailer below:

So many cast members to love,but I'm a Maybe So given the spastic tone of the trailer.Is this a comedy about people profiting off the housing market collapse?Is this an updatedWolf of Wall Street?I'll wait out for reviews,but weigh in on whetherThe Big Shorthas you excited.

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  • Response
    Response: The Big Short
    I viewed the film's world premiere as the Closing Night Film for AFI FEST 2015 Hollywood and reviewed it here:

Reader Comments (14)

Wait,Bale and Gosling are in a film together (YES) and not playing lovers or brothers (NO)?Maybe so.

Of course,I'm seeing this,sight unseen (I hate trailers).C'mon!

September 28,2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

This is all kinds of no for me.The "big banks rah rah"seems to have the political precision of a group of drunk high schoolers watching the news from 7 years ago.This topic,even if done with humor,could use some finesse.I'm also hating the "quirky outsiders thinking differently"angle especially because the cast is almost entirely straight white middle aged guys who could easily be playing the bankers in a different movie.Carrell seems to be drowning in memories of his own shtick.

September 28,2015 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets


September 28,2015 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

I'm a yes,but have no clue if this will be a mess or not.

September 28,2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Zitzelman

NO,even with that cast,this looks so generic and bland

September 28,2015 | Unregistered Commentereduardo

Star-power aside,this looks a lot like an HBO movie.Specifically a Jay Roach HBO movie,and I think it will ultimately play that way.I doubt it will be a big hit,which would also be critical for a film like this to be an awards player.

Personally,I'm a Maybe So,but only because of the stars.

September 28,2015 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

I susspect that this will be a mess,but I'm sure I'll be seeing it anyway.I would,however,feel better about it if Bale weren't in it.

September 28,2015 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

Did it bother anyone else that Brad Pitt was listed as an Academy Award Nominee,and not a winner?

No?Anyone?Just me,then.Very well...

September 28,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Gouveia

@Joe Gouveia

He insisted on the billing of nominee because he won for producing.

September 28,2015 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I've been missing Melissa Leo of late,so I'm happy she'll at least pop up in *something* this Oscar season.Though Adam McKay doesn't give me much hope.

So a Maybe So,depending very much on reviews and nominations.

September 28,2015 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

I can't wait for this.The book is incredible,and really does underline how atrocious the banks behaviour was and how clueless regulators were.It's difficult to get finesse in a situation where there was large scale fraud and illegality taking place as a matter of course.And even if you think this was so seven years ago,things have barely changed and a big old fashioned rabble rouser is always worth welcome.

McKay is what makes this interesting for me - whatever you feel about his past work,he has shown a passion for skewering toxic masculinity (I should say I think Anchorman and Talladega Nights are amongst the funniest films I've ever watched).I think taking on absurdist tone is one of the most interesting ways to approach the material.The book made me angry,but it also had me gasping with astonishment and laughing out loud.I hope the film does similar

September 29,2015 | Unregistered CommenterIanO

Watched the trailer and how no idea until I read this post that Marisa Tomei is even in this.When you edit your trailer and you have Marisa Tomei in your movie...put her in the trailer for more than a second.She is important.

September 29,2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

i dont understand the hair in this trailer.this is only taking place a handful of years ago and looks like some crazy ass period piece with the wigs.

September 29,2015 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Practically no women.STRIPPERS SAYING IMPORTANT THINGS because THAT'S REPRESENTING THE WIMMINZ!Bunch of white men being self-satisfied and important.And I HATE Christian Bale.


September 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

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