Margin Call

Posted on November 11, 2011

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Margin Call – Outstanding cast, outstanding acting. It’s about an investment bank selling mortgage backed securities. I don’t pretend to understand completely how margin calls work and it appears these dudes didn’t either. They just know they’re making buckets of money. It’s 2008 and they’re in the midst of cleaning house when they let Stanley Tucci (Eric Dale) go. He’s been working on a volatility formula and, as he’s being escorted from the building, hands over a flash drive to subordinate Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto with Dr. Spock eyebrows). Sullivan who has a rocket scientist background figures out the house of dominoes is about to collapse but he doesn’t totally understand the ramifications.
The levels of management is quite funny. Paul Bettany (Will Emerson) is Tucci’s boss and he was paid $2.5M last year. Kevin Spacey (Sam Rogers) is Bettany’s boss; Simon Baker from The Mentalist (Jared Cohen) is Spacey’s boss, and the big boss, John Tuld – you can only imagine the size of his paycheck -is played brilliantly by Jeremy Irons. He’s exactly like you picture those arrogant, self-serving schmucks in their little ivory towers to be. Demi Moore, as Sarah Robertson, looks haggard in most scenes, does a credible job of her risk management and scapegoat role. “We’re selling them something that we know has no value” is the line that sums it up. Really good movie – go see it, and then Occupy, Occupy, Occupy.

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