The Film Itself
I was so excited to see this movie! Five Oscar nominations, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, AND Adam McKay?! Not to mention I love a true story. Mind you, not one of those cheesy, inspiring true stories (Miracles From Heaven, barf.). And it was pretty good! Not as good as I had hoped, but still good. I’d watched Inside the Actor’s Studio featuring Steve Carell before seeing this movie, and James Lipton talked about how this wasn’t a horror movie but it was still terrifying. He was soo right. So scary! How could the entire government and housing market not know about this?!?!?! Well I guess they said in the end that the government did know, they just didn’t care, which is almost worse. I hate to say it, but I think “The Academy” was right in only giving this movie the Oscar for best adapted screenplay and nothing else. The storytelling aspect of this movie is definitely where it shines. You guys, THIS STORY IS SO CRAZY. Seriously. How was everything so messed up and no one knew about it?! And they told it so well! The cameos explaining all the real technical stuff, the fourth wall breaks, the time jump narration, so so stylish! Love it. And I think I actually understand on a very basic level what a CDO is (Although Selena Gomez would not have been my first pick to explain it). The thing that impressed me the most about the storytelling was how bad it made me feel. The whole time I was rooting for all these characters to be right and to win against all these people who said they were wrong. I gotta tell ya, I love me an underdog. However, as it started to dawn on the characters what they are actually betting against, it started to dawn on me that I was rooting for the economy to collapse and for thousands of people to lose their jobs and homes. It made me sick to my stomach, horrified, and completely awed. Thank you Adam McKay. You pulled one over on me. I still can’t get over it. That’s why I am so disappointed with the movie as a whole. There was so much potential here! The cinematography was awesome, all of the actors were great, a lot of the direction was really cool but none of it seemed fleshed out fully. I felt like there could have been a lot more development with the characters. There could have been so much more done with Steve Carell’s anger and Ryan Gosling’s assertiveness and Christian Bale’s … Asperger’s… I also felt like the direction was kind of unfocused. My guess is McKay was going for a documentary/not documentary mash-up, but it just felt like he couldn’t decide which way he wanted to go and just did both, fully committing to neither. I’m just going to chalk it all up to this being Adam McKay’s first crack at dramatic directing. Overall, lots of great stuff. If you’re looking for a really cool, smart, true story, definitely worth a watch.
This movie was far from passing the Bechdel test. I don’t think there were even two named female characters in the whole movie. The only one I remember is Marisa Tomei and I sure don’t remember her name. Oh I guess there was that pregnant boss lady. Kristen? I don’t know, still doesn’t pass. I mean I guess you can’t really blame them since this is a true story.
Paramount Studios would only let Adam McKay do this movie if he made an Anchorman sequel. Many people probably disagree with me, but Thank you Paramount!