Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks - Financial World


Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. You can participate too - just pick three movies that fit the week's theme and write a bit about them!

Drive by, quick-and-dirty style this week.

Something tells me the financial sector would approve.

Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson, 1964) Don't let the magical nanny and Dick Van Dyke's broader than broad cockney accent fool you. This movie is really about one banker's slow realization that there are more important things than money and business. Watch it again and tell me I'm wrong.

American Psycho (Mary Harron, 2000) One of the decade's defining movies, so of course it's a psychological thriller about the '80s starring Christian Bale and directed by a woman who puts most men to shame for how far she's willing to go and for sheer filmmaking prowess.

The Big Short (Adam McKay, 2015) Zippy, quippy, star-studded jaunt through the 2008 financial meltdown that is probably more fun than it has any right to be. But afterwards, I remember the flashy sequences for their flashiness more than the information they were actually trying to impart.

11 comments:

  1. LOVE the inventive choice of Mary Poppins!! And I love that movie, what a charming fantasy it is.

    The Big Short is one of the big titles of the week which I guess isn't surprising. It's spot on point and a good film to boot. It did a good job of making the story it had to tell accessible despite the complexity of the information.

    I've considered watching American Psycho many times but having a vague idea of the violence its selling and not being the biggest Bale fan have kept me at bay.

    While I liked The Big Short I enjoyed my first pick slightly more and I find my second very rewatchable thanks to the skill of the cast. My third is an obscurity but I happened upon it just in the nick of time and decided to shine a little light on it.

    Margin Call (2011)-When the head of risk management (Stanley Tucci) of a large Wall Street firm is unexpectedly laid off he tries to alert someone in the company of the project he was in the midst of that showed troubling evidence of an incipient mass failing of many money markets. He is met with total indifference so on his way out the door he hands the info to one of his assistants who is staying (Zachary Quinto). Intrigued at first and then dumbfounded by what he discovers he finally manages to attract the attention of the higher ups. As a series of late night conferences take place the dawning revelation becomes apparent that a global financial meltdown is set to occur and there is not a damn thing that can stop it. A well-directed look at the immediate lead up to the 2008 financial crisis.

    Working Girl (1988)-Mike Nichols directed comedy about ambitious Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith-never more appealing) who despite her college degree and keen intelligence has trouble getting ahead. She goes to work as secretary to Ivy League Katharine Parker (a priceless Sigourney Weaver) in mergers and acquisitions at a large Wall Street investment bank. Lulled into a false sense of security when Katharine seems to extend a helping hand she tells her a provocative idea for a merger that she’s come up with. Katharine without a shred of shame steals the idea behind her back. When circumstances allow Tess to become aware of the duplicity she uses subterfuge teaming with the unaware Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford-sprightly and relaxed) to bring the plan to fruition for herself. All does not go as planned. One of the rare comedies about the financial world that works.

    The Crash (1932)-Racy pre-code about Geoffrey and Linda Gault (George Brent & Ruth Chatterton-married in real life at the time), a rapacious couple who go to great lengths to accumulate wealth on the stock market up to and including Geoffrey encouraging Linda to pimp herself out for tips that can add to their fortune. She goes along because she can’t bear the thought of returning to the poverty of her youth. However when Geoffrey angers her with a request, she picks the precisely wrong time to hand him bad information and they are wiped out in the stock market crash of ’29. Staying together in name only while he tries to pick up the pieces she, haunted by her fears, continues to have gentleman friends who give her expensive things until a turning point is reached. Brief (only 58 minutes) and candid with a frankness that would vanish for decades with the implementation of the Production Code the next year.

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    1. Love Working Girl, dated though it may be. Ford has never been looser, Weaver never funnier. I loved writing this up for Hit Me With Your Best Shot last year.

      I've heard a lot about how good Margin Call is, and I can't believe I still haven't seen it.

      I need to see more Pre-Code stuff. Sounds like I should really add The Crash to the list!

      If you liked the Mary Poppins pick, I also almost picked Topper, which I love, because the title character is a Bank President.

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  2. Mary Poppins is an inventive choice and I love it. What a difference from your other 2. I do not think I saw American Psycho but I have seen The Big Short which was good even though I had a hard time following it.

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    1. Yeah, I was rather proud of the Mary Poppins pick. It's easily my favorite of these three. Oh trust me, you'd know if you saw American Psycho.

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    1. Me too. Really brilliant work all around.

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  4. Mary Poppins is an inspired choice. I need to re-watch it now. I wasn't expecting to match with anyone on American Pyscho but there you are, coming through lol.

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    1. WOOT WOOT! American Psycho is awesome.

      As is Mary Poppins, but in a completely different way lol

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  5. The Big Short is shockingly entertaining for a film about such a horrible and sad subject as people losing all their money. The performances there are incredible as is the soundtrack

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    1. I totally agree - SUPER entertaining, although I didn't fully LOVE it. Don't really remember the music that much, though.

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  6. Love Mary Poppins, while yes I do remember the father is banker....the movie just never came to mind that Thursday.

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