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Adam McKay

The Big Short – Adam McKay (2015)

  • drama

Just as in “The Laundromat” some big actors joined forces to criticize the Western financial system.

In the early 2000’ies former doctor Michael Burry (Christian Bale) finds a flaw in the American banking system. He expects the mortgage system to collapse and thinks of a way to turn that into a profit for the organisation that he now works for.

His idea is picked up by Jared Vennett (Ryan Goslin) who goes to the criticaster of the financial system Mark Baum to also turn the predicted event into profit. Two young dare-investors accidentally see the documents of Burry and they pick up the same plan consulting Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt).

The problem that Burry found was that the portfolios of mortgages of banks are no longer filled with (very secure) mortgages, but less secure investments are sneaked in which on their turn are put in another package, etc. etc. These packages are rated, but due to competition, ratings are always good and they say nothing about the security of an investment.

First individually, later conjoined, the different troupes start to make sense of the complex schemes that financial businesses use to sell their products and make the most profit. These complexities are explained in strange interludes. Basically “The Big Short” is more of a movie than a documentary about the gigantic financial crisis of two decades ago, that some saw coming.

Not quite the film that I thought that I was going to watch.

Don’t Look Up – Adam McKay (2021)

Listed as ‘comedy’, “Don’t Look Up” has a dead serious message. Student Kate Dibiasky discovers a massive meteorite that is heading straight to earth. The result of the crash will be catastrophic. Together with her professor Randall Mindy, Kate tries to convince the world that the earth has but six more months to live.

The American president finds the timing off. There are elections coming up, so there is no time for bad news. Dibiasky and Mindy decide to use the media. News has so be light, funny and empty, so their message falls dead to the ground; it did not generate enough ‘internet points’.

Slowly but surely the two manage to change the tide and the American president decides to take action. An attempt is made to blow the meteorite out of its course. Then commerce sets in. There is actually money to be made by this meteorite, so let us not blow it up.

Meanwhile the larger audience starts to be divided between people who ‘believe’ in the meteorite and those who do not. It is all fake news of a few rich people who want to take away our freedom after all.

The film has quite a cast. Leonardo Di Caprio, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchet, Ron Perlman, Ariane Grande. The link to the climate crisis is obvious. Is the ‘high end cast’ to try to get the point across? Surely that will fail. We are too much like the people in the movie.