THIS is a spectacular film, I watched it twice and so should you. It's the most accomplished and educational comedy ever. Or, alternatively, the most entertaining film with a serious message. In large part due to the superb characters; Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, basically everyone is priceless and hysterical (Except for Steve Carell's character, who is a bit much, harping on about the immorality of the financial system while simultaneously being an asshole to everyone).
The films directing is bold and ambitious throughout. Between scenes they artfully use montages of pop culture images, stock footage and sombre quotations.These give the plot development and emotionality a sort of wider significance. They also like to break the 4th wall constantly. It's fun. The characters do this to clarify whether things really happened, other times they use random celebrities to give helpful analogies for the more complex financial concepts; the frailty of mortgage-backed security, the banks creation of fraudulent CDOs and how synthetic CDOs worked to amplify market failure.
The film puts us on the side of those set to benefit from the market crash so when Pitt's fatherly character scolds his proteges, his words hit the audience too. "If we're right, people lose homes. People lose jobs. People lose retirement savings, people lose pensions. You know what I hate about fucking banking? It reduces people to numbers. Here's a number - every 1% unemployment goes up, 40,000 people die, did you know that?"
The film hits even harder in the closing scenes. The tone (which grows increasingly serious as the crash draws closer) sinks further. We are shown the poor guy from Miami living out of his car with his young family, the sheepish mortgage brokers forced to work in a recession that they helped create, Bale being finally proven right but closing his hedge fund in disgusts, and then we learn that the banks are to be bailed out by the taxpayers. Gosling presents a brief mock happy ending and then, abruptly, the crushing historical reality. The bankers took the money, gave themselves bonuses, lobbied to prevent reform, and only one unlucky banker was brought to justice. The final shot reveals that in 2015 the large banks started to again sell billions in CDOs, just under another name. Leaving us with a climactic sense of disgust and weariness.
Many agree that the big short provides a good account of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis, with a detailed picture of all involved. Bernie Sanders, a staunch advocate for the breaking up of the big banks, is naturally a big fan of the film. However, Obama weighed in on this film recently while reflecting on his economic legacy. He says the film is wrong to imply nothing has changed, and that his policies have greatly stabilised the financial sector.