J.C. Chandor‘s Margin Call (Lionsgate/Roadside) was one of the big highlights of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, or a decade ago. There’s no way that a film like Margin Call (a story about white financial elites grappling with a 2008-like Wall Street crisis, and costarring an accused sexual predator) would premiere at the Sundance Woke Festival of today, 95% of which focuses almost entirely on films about women’s issues, people of color, the LBGTQ community, etc.
This is why Sundance is essentially over — why it has come to the end of a long history of success and vitality (early ’90s to 2017) after succumbing to HUAC-style Khmer Rouge wokeness mixed with strong currents of punitive #MeToo consciousness. Not for being progressive, but for creating and feeding a political environment that (not absolutely but to a large extent) frowns upon the white-guy (and especially the older white guy) realm.
Margin Call is arguably Chandor’s best film ever, and it contains one of the finest Kevin Spacey performance of the 21st Century. Not to mention the performances by Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Simon Baker and Paul Bettany.
HE commenter: “Worked in investment banking during the 80’s. Most of the guys at the top tier (Spacey/Bettany characters) don’t know how to ‘read’ the numbers. The film drilled it home that they are salesmen. They wine and dine bright and aggressive young men and bring them in to the business. The boardroom scene hinges on the idea that all these financial geniuses look to a rocket scientist (Quinto) for confirmation that their business plan is screwed. 2008 is summed up with the correct conclusion — nobody knows anything. One of the year’s best.”