Release Date: Oct. 28, 2011
Running Time: 105 minutes
Margin Call is everything Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps needed to be. Like Oliver Stone’s belated and inferior sequel,Margin Call takes a jaundiced look back at the factors that contributed to the current weak state of the economy. Complete with its own Gordon Gekko in Jeremy Irons’ ruthless investment banker, Margin Call is a thought-provoking morality tale that possesses the sense of urgency that Money Never Sleep sadly lacked. Set during a 24-hour period on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis, Margin Crisis examines the ethical dilemma faced by employees at an investment firm that’s on the brink of collapse. In order to save the firm, their plan to sell off all assets at a loss would likely have global ramifications by accelerating and worsening the impending economic catastrophe. Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Simon Baker, Zachary Quinto, and Penn Badgley are among those under Irons’ command who struggle with doing what’s right for the firm, and by extension themselves, and what’s financially right for the market. At the heart of the matter, of course, is money. How much would it take for you to damn the consequences and do what’s best for you? Writer/director J.C. Chandor never makes it easy on the cast, especially as half of them will likely be unemployed and unhireable by the end of Margin Call. Most aren’t of the opinion that, at least when it comes to saving the firm, greed is good. But being out of work and strapped for cash during a recession isn’t an ideal situation—pride won’t pay the mortgage on your townhouse. The electrifying cast wrestles with their Catch-22 predicament for much of Margin Call, and the tension to be found in the firm’s trading floors, boardrooms, and executive bathrooms is palpable. There also are some unexpected voices of reason, and Chandor keeps us guessing just how long they will hold their ground in light of the money being thrown at them by Irons. Blessed with the benefit of hindsight, Margin Call is never less than captivating in its fictional depiction of one firm’s attempt to survive possible financial ruin. It also will renew any resentment you harbor toward the Wall Street fat cats who made millions from the misfortunes of others in the wake of the 2008 stock market crash.
Aired: Oct. 27, 2011
Web site: http://www.margincallmovie.com/