New movie ‘Margin Call’ called best Wall Street film, ever (with video)

Here and Now

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The New Yorker’s David Denby calls the new movie “Margin Call” “easily the best Wall Street film ever made.”

NPR critic David Edelstein calls the timing “almost too good.”

The film opens amid massive layoffs at a high-flying Wall Street firm, and events go downhill from there. One of the firm’s analysts, played by Zachary Quinto, discovers that, because of some past risky investing, the firm’s demise is imminent.

Over the next 24 hours, executives decide to unload investment holdings with the full knowledge that the move will severely damage the market and thousands of the company’s investors.

Story continues beneath video.

Writer and director J.C. Chandor is familiar with this world– his father was an investment banker with Merrill Lynch for over thirty years.

Chandor said in his film there are no heroes, and there are no villains– his characters are all doing what they need to be doing in order to survive.

“What I wanted to do… is to actually look at what it felt like to be at that place at that time and then hopefully you actually understand the decision-making process of the characters,” he said.

Chandor depicts analysts who are hesitant to report questionable practices, out of fear of losing their paychecks that keep their fast and expensive lifestyles afloat– something the banks in his films count on.

“They pay you just enough to feel rich and not so much that you can ever quite walk away. They want you to be there on a tether,” Chandor said.


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