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The Big Short

5 Oscar Nominations: Incl. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor. "'The Big Short' will affirm your deepest cynicism about Wall Street while simultaneously restoring your faith in Hollywood." - A.O. Scott

"Based on a best-selling book by Michael Lewis about folks who anticipated the financial crisis of 2008, 'The Big Short' is the film that 'The Wolf of Wall Street' wanted to be.

"Michael Burry (Christian Bale) is kind of eccentric but he’s savvy about the stock market. When he notices shaky mortgage practices, Burry is quick to conclude that a bubble of historic proportions is set to burst — and just as quick to bet against, or 'short,' the housing market.

"That move attracts the interest of several other financial players, including bank trader Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) and hedge fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell). Off to the side of the action is Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt), a disillusioned former banker who’s not particularly surprised that Wall Street has gone too far.

"Working from a screenplay that he co-wrote with Charles Randolph, director Adam McKay departs from the broad comedy of 'Anchorman' and 'Talladega Nights' to deliver a financial farce with satirical sting. Of course, Wall Street jargon can be impenetrable, so McKay hilariously breaks it down through tactics including onscreen text and celebrity cameos.

"The cast is first-rate. Gosling is the essence of the smooth operator who’s always working an angle. Pitt and Bale clearly relish the opportunity to disappear into their characters. And Carell nails Baum’s intriguing blend of self-righteousness and empathy.

"Far from being a dry economics lesson, 'The Big Short' is an unsparing look at corporate skullduggery and its consequences — and the rare mainstream film with political bite." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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