Oscars 2016: A Review of “The Big Short”


Hello, you lovely Collective readers. Do me a favour and paint a mental picture in your head as I tell this story. It’s a snowy Wednesday night in Canada, freezing rain EVERYWHERE. A lone Katie trudges through the wilderness (a parking lot) to get to the movie theatre. It is T-minus 4 days to the Oscars and there is no time to waste. I pretty much looked like Leonardo Dicaprio in The Revenant, bear skin and all. The weather was so brutal that I got to sit in an empty theatre and watch The Big Short ALL BY MYSELF. Having a movie theatre to myself to watch an Oscar nominee is everything I need in life. I sit there and contemplate the last two months of movie theatre adventures and to be honest, I’m ready for this awards season to wrap up on Sunday.  This is it, my final Oscars Best Picture nominee review. Until next year, of course.

Today’s review is for The Big Short, directed by Adam McKay and with a start studded cast including Brad Pitt, Steve Carrell, and Ryan Gosling. Fun fact; this was actually Gosling’s first film since announcing his “break from acting” in 2013. Welcome back, Ryan! We missed your face! I wasn’t overly distraught because…well, you’re not my type. Grow that beard back from The Notebook and I might call you. Or write you 365 letters. The Big Short is the story of Michael Burry (Christian Bale), a somewhat neurotic wall street guru who notices an issue with the housing market and how its poor foundation could affect the entire economy. Burry’s is just one of many different story lines in this film of many different characters that notice the same issue. Now that I’m done hitting on the actors (because I KNOW they read The Collective) and filling you in on the plot, let’s hop into this review.

The only way I know how to describe The Big Short to you is to compare it to a bouquet of poisonous flowers inside the most beautiful vase in the world. The story line is very complicated, and I think that unless you are familiar with the world of finance, a lot of it will be lost on you. Much of the film went right over my head, so even now (two days after seeing it) I have no idea what really went down in that theatre. What I do know is that despite the complicated storyline, I loved the way the film was put together. Adam McKay’s directing stands out to me as what makes this film great. Not to sell the actors short whatsoever, but do they deserve to win in any of the acting categories? Not this year. Sorry, guys.

Adam McKay, whose name you may recognize from raunchy Will Ferrell comedies such as Anchorman, Step Brothers, and The Other Guys. In fact, this is Adam McKay’s first film to not feature Will Ferrell and his dramatic directorial debut. The Big Short was not a happy story, but somehow managed to convey itself in a fun way. I think that is because overall, the film didn’t take itself too seriously. McKay was also a writer for the film, so I do attribute a lot of the best things about the film to him. Quite often the characters break the fourth wall, addressing the audience directly and allowing us to feel like we are as much a part of the film as the A-list actors leading it. In addition to this, there are also random moments where THEY KNOW that this financial information is difficult to understand, so they have scenes where different stars (Selena Gomez, Margot Robbie etc.) explain it in a simple way. Random, but adds to the jumpy format of the film.

Is this film for everybody? No, I don’t think so. Not only is the subject matter complicated, but some may find the overall film to be sort of jumpy/all over the place and the personalities of the characters to be quite abrasive. McKay was actually only allowed to make this film if he agreed to do an Anchorman sequel, so I think we all took for the team there and it paid off with Oscar nominations. Will it win any of said nominations? Probably not. Unless Titanic suddenly gets re-entered into the running, I feel confident in saying The Revenant will take home best picture. What do you think? Who are you rooting for on Oscars night? Let me know in a comment below!

About the Author: Katie is a makeup artist/blogger from the Great White North (AKA, good ol’ Canada). She spends her time creating YouTube videos, writing about anything that crosses her mind, and living vicariously through episodes How I Met Your Mother. You can check out her videos here. Or follow Katie on Twitter @thatgeekonline and at her Blog.

Leave a Reply! (Please be advised that all comments are moderated)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.