Who amongst you failed to go weak for the shaven-headed Demi
Moore and her swagga in GI Jane or be moved by her grief-stricken
widow in Ghost? Demi Moore stands strong as a dykon and
anyone who thought she was going to shrink and fade quietly away
after being cheated on by Ashton Kutcher needs to think again. She
is back with a bang in Margin Call, a film which chronicles the
demise of a major bank leading to the financial disaster we are in
Margin Call (see trailer below) is the low budget, independently
financed, first feature written and directed by JC Chandor which
skilfully and sympathetically tells the story of the crash from the
bankers' perspective. Did I just say sympathetic to the bankers?
Yes I did! JC Chandor, the son of a former Merrill Lynch banker has
managed to do what no Tory spin doctor has achieved so far!
Margin Call shows us how brutal and sociopathic the world of
banking is, where finance is based on abstract algorithms and yet
people take away wads of cash for taking risky bets on ephemeral
figures. Where each person has a price and the only goal is
to negotiate more.
In the final hours of a margin call, everything is up for grabs
in a "fire sale" and in the film, as the bank goes down, we see who
cracks first and for what price in this Machiavellian game of truth
and dare. In this film Demi Moore holds her own as Chief Risk
Officer Sarah Robertson, who rings the alarm bells about the risky
trading practices, even though her siren calls fall on deaf ears.
In the end she falls on the sword she lives by.
Margin Call is possibly one of the few films written and
directed by a man which passes the Bechdel
1. It has to have at least two women in it,
2. Who talk to each other,
3. About something besides a man.
The women in the film just talk about, well, banking! No woman
is a love interest, no women's bodies are shown in a gratuitous way
and every single female role is fierce and those personnel women at
the beginning of the film are actually very scary. There is a
telling scene where two 20-something male analysts played by out
gay actor Zachary Quinto and Penn Badgley, are in a strip club.
Chandor could have added a bit of cynical sexy edginess to sell the
film, instead he shoots with restraint and respect.
Margin Call shows that in some way we are all to blame for this
economic crisis - we did not complain when we received easy credit,
100% mortgages or fat re-mortgages. We did not worry about the
consequences of our own lust for 'things'. Margin Call shows that
we all have a price and that some of our wages of sin are higher
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