Sunday, January 1, 2012

Home Video with Abe: Margin Call (Capsule Review)

Margin Call
Directed by J.C. Chandor
Released October 21, 2011

First-time feature filmmaker J.C. Chandor hit it big with his debut movie. This Wall Street drama takes place over the course of one fateful evening, when, in the aftermath of a wave of layoffs, one lowly analyst discovers information that could lead to the unraveling of the firm. A cast of heavy-hitters of various degrees are enlisted for the various levels of responsibility, starting with young TV actors Zachary Quinto (“Heroes”) and Penn Badgley (“Gossip Girl”), moving up to Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Kevin Spacey, Simon Baker, and Demi Moore, and all the way up to Jeremy Irons as the firm’s formidable CEO. Tucci, Spacey, and Irons are particularly excellent in this strong ensemble, and the film is reminiscent of another Spacey feature, “The Big Kahuna,” using a set time frame and physical location to keep its story moving and focused. Its themes are highly relevant, probing financial ethics and the impact of job loss. It’s even a quiet, calm, unsuspecting thriller of sorts that has its share of pertinent outbursts from different characters, and overall, it’s a captivating, enthralling film, and whatever Chandor does next is likely to get quite a bit of attention.


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