Zoë's Blu-ray Review: MARGIN CALL
Published: December 20, 2011 - 4:08pm
This independent film boosts a remarkable cast, which allows J.C Chandor big rights seeing as how this is his directorial debut. Loosely based around Lehman Brother’s rash decision that sparked a major financial crisis in 2007-2008, this film is all too relevant to today’s audience.
The plot is simple: a piece of information is found out by two somethings in the company, and they pass the info along to their superior and so on until it reaches the top of the food chain. There is literally no physical action in this thriller, just men in suits arguing over what to do next for the span of 36 hours.
Audiences will foremost be drawn to this film by its renowned cast. Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Stanley Tucci are remarkable and carry the film well. Zachery Quinto is endearing as an almost hero in a situation where everyone is to blame. Jeremy Irons is terrifying, while Demi Moore is characteristically robotic in all of her scenes.
It’s a simple, informative film that humanizes the people involved with crashing our economy. Chandor was able to sympathize with both sides, neither defending bankers nor attacking them. It is slow but appealing because we have lived through and experienced the outcome of the cinematic events that play out before us.
Special Features Breakdown
- Only two extras scenes are included, one in which Sullivan goes out for a cup of coffee and encounters a woman he knows, whom might be an old girlfriend; the other shows when the company is told what is the status of their situation. Both scenes can also be viewed with director and producer commentary.
- First time writer/director Chandor explains the core of this film and how one piece of information can affect a multitude of characters. Jeremy Irons and Stanley Tucci explain why they wanted to do this film, and the star-studded cast offer praise for the director and the script.
- A montage of clips of cast and crewmembers working together before and after scenes. It’s a short piece, barely a minute long that’s nice to see but doesn’t give any background information.
- Almost 4 minutes of slideshow stills from the film accompanied by the eerie soundtrack. Although well put together, I do not see a point in this.
There is also a Director & Producer’s Commentary version of the film.
Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, Margin Call is an entangling thriller involving the key players at an investment firm during the first 24-hours of the 2008 financial crisis. When an entry-level analyst unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster. Writer/director J.C. Chandor’s enthralling first feature is a stark and bravely authentic portrayal of the financial industry and its denizens as they confront the decisions that shape our global future.
Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions and Benaroya Pictures Present a Before the Door production starring Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell. With Demi Moore and Stanley Tucci. Margin Call is written and directed by J.C. Chandor