The Big Short

The story of how Wall Street blew up the world economy, one mortgage derivative semtex brick at a time, and the guys who caught a whiff of the explosive and went looking. This is venality on a trillion dollar scale - you end up hating bankers and credit raters more than you did walking in - and its told with a rare flare. Awesome clip coming up.

The bad guys are venal or stupid or a derivative of both, while the good guys are always smart, but in a weird way; they’re either autistic, damaged or childlike innocents. Still, you root for them against all the banks which rig the game and then - since they discover they’ve rigged it wrongly - rig it all over again. This is the bit that came as a shock to me - how some of the big banks shut down the market and unloaded their toxic assets onto unsuspecting others when they finally heard the almost-deafening ticking. Here are some bankers doing what they do best.

Steve Carrell is permanently and brilliantly pissed off, with good reason. Christian Bale maxes out the autism of his character’s clinical intelligence. And Ryan Gosling hosts us for global-economy Jenga with selfish, suave bravardo. Best line in the movie: Carrell’s hedge fund manager is battling the Manhattan sidewalk, exasperating angrily to someone loudly on his phone, “I mean, who treats their clients like that…and still has a business…!?!” [Pause while he listens to the other guy say something.] “…well, OK, apart from Goldman Sachs?!?”. Mull that line.