The Big Short

I don’t think that I have ever written about a film I have seen before but I am moved to do so by a trip to the cinema this week to see The Big Short. If I am honest the premise for the film – the 2008 financial crisis – wasn’t one that sounded like a great start for a nights entertainment but I was swayed by the great cast and positive reviews. 

For those that just want to know what I thought of the film and want to avoid the political diatribe (TL;DR as the youth say) I greatly enjoyed it and would rank it as one of the best films I have ever seen and I urge you to see it too.

The film follows a group of financial traders in the US that spotted trouble with the sub-prime mortgages that were being packaged up and sold on with a AAA rating when they were clearly crap. I over simplify and this is one of the issues the film had – how to make the complicated subject of the financial markets understandable for the average watcher. They managed this by occasionally taking a break from the “action” and have some “celebrity” explain in lay-mans terms. I say “celebrity” because they were people I had never heard of but it served its purpose.

The cast was great and Christian Bale was superb and he deserves the Oscar nomination he received for the part. However, I was really confused. Nobody seemed to be playing the part of Gordon Brown or any other member of the Labour government that was in power at the time. Where were they all?

I had been led to believe by the Tories and the UK’s right wing press that the collapse of the financial markets was the work of the Labour government and Gordon Brown, as architect of the downfall, was the villain of the piece. But all the cast had American accents (even Rafe Spall and almost Karen Gillan) not a Scottish lilt to be heard (well apart from Karen Gillan who had trouble disguising hers).

Of course all the words from the Tories and the press was just BS and it was incredibly well played helping the Tories get into power but the truth, as ever, is very different.

You should go and see The Big Short as it is an excellent movie but even more so if you have swallowed the BS from Conservative central office hook, line and sinker.