Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Unexpected Angle

The Big Short, a film about the people who bet against the economy in 2008 and won big, is getting great reviews. Directed and co-written by Adam McKay--best known for his work with Will Ferrell--it's a comedy but also a cri de coeur, saying the whole Wall Street system is corrupt and evil and is the reason everything felt apart, causing so many regular folks to get hurt.

As far as the filmmaker is concerned, a whole lot more bankers should be in jail (though it's unclear what laws they've broken, not that such details matter), and a whole lot more reform is needed (actually, he seems to think we haven't had any reform), and that anyone who blames anyone but top financiers and their high-level enablers is as good as a racist.

Which is why I found this pan by Melissa Anderson in the LA Weekly so fascinating.  It's not so much a review as a rant.  And she's actually angry that the film lets capitalism off so easy.  According to her, films need to show how unfettered (is there any other kind?) free markets ravage society.

This sort of commentary shouldn't be in the film section.  Then again, it probably does less harm here than on the editorial pages.  Though I admit there'd be a perverse pleasure in watching people like Anderson trying to make their way in the poverty-stricken society they'd create if anyone took them ideas seriously.


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