Is the financial meltdown worthy material for a comedy? Not just any old comedy, but a comedy from the guy who made The Other Guys and Step Brothers? Adam McKay might not be anyone’s first choice to make a film about the world’s fiscal collapse in 2008, but considering the surreal circumstances on Wall Street and in the offices of the big banks that brought it about, maybe the man who dreamed up Will Ferrell running around a race track in his undies is the perfect director for The Big Short. Based on the bestseller by Michael Lewis, who also wrote The Blind Side and Moneyball, as well as this searing indictment of the Irish bailout, the film about the men whose greed precipitated the biggest economic crash in history stars Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale.
At first glance, you might think this movie is going to be all about bad hair. Carell (in a weird toupee) moans and worries and looks constipated. Pitt is scruffily bearded. Christian Bale plays the man who predicted the crash as early as 2005, but whose predictions are dismissed because he gets his hair done at Supercuts. And you might need to do a double-take to spot the normally blond Gosling: he sports an unattractive jet-black toupee and looks like he’s just walked in from the set of Boiler Room. There is a lot of looking at computer monitors. There are shots of money being counted. There are checks made out for HUGE amounts. There are strippers. Is this going to be a rehash of Wolf of Wall Street? The Big Short – costarring Selena Gomez, Marisa Tomei and Rafe Spall – starts picking your pocket at Christmas. There is, as you’ll hear below, Led Zeppelin.