Friday, November 4, 2011

J.C. Chandor: Big Business (Margin Call)

Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Margin Call, Roadside Attractions, 2011.

What with the cumulative financial debacle our country has become embroiled in, a teeth gnashing depiction of the symbolic night before the bail out seems eerily on target. Writer-Director J.C. Chandor displays depth and acute visuals in his alternately big, cold, corporate and small, claustrophobic, melodramatic drama Margin Call.

Essentially a showcase for his seasoned cast to chew up scenery and pair off with one another, Chandor holds his end of the bargain with a semi-complex, razor sharp script and calculatedly artistic framing. Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci and Simon Baker all lock horns, and we, the audience, relish their particular movements and words, as a sort of rampart to the harsh times we live in. Their masquerade gives face to one of the most outrageous capitalist scandals of all time.

Zachary Quinto and Penn Badgley are both very good as the younger guys at the corp getting baptized by fire. The tight setting of one night of fateful decisions, confined to a high rise, sets the film apart. Recalling the skullduggery of Oliver Stone's classic Wall Street, Chandor delivers a strong first feature worth salvaging from the pseudo-indie slop.

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