THE BIG SHORT

Pasatiempo - - MOVING IMAGES - (Jonathan Richards)

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.

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