THE BIG SHORT
Adam McKay’s Oscar-nominated movie (in the Best Picture, Director, and Supporting Actor categories) is by turns funny, frightening, suspenseful, informative, and tragic. It examines the 2008 near-collapse of the world financial system from the perspectives of four analysts, or teams, who had the vision to recognize what nobody else saw coming: the rottenness of the system, the worthlessness of the packaged mortgages on which the economy was gliding, and the inevitable devastating crash when the bubble burst. They bet against the economy. They bet big. And they won. That McKay is able to explain the financial collapse that cost so many people their homes and savings — and make it entertaining — is a remarkable achievement. Terrific performances come from a cast that includes Academy Award-nominee Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell. And McKay leaves us with a warning: It could happen again. Rated R. 130 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown.