Margin calls allow businesses to create, cut positions
Before All Is Lost with Robert Redford and A Most Violent Year with Jessica Chastain, the high finance film Margin Call with Simon Baker acquaints audiences of 2011 onward with the first in director/producer/writer JC Chandor’s triple drama movie crown. It begins with human resources staffers Heather Burke (Ashley Williams) and Lauren Bratberg (Susan Blackwell) carrying out in one building what their firm is having done on all their business premises worldwide:
• firing 80% of employees per floor; and
• retaining 4 of every 7 workers per floor.
Nineteen-year tenured, risk management head Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci) counts among “Looking Ahead” casualties facing:
• building, e-mail, mobile, server exclusion;
• health/options continuance; and
• 6-month severance at half-salary.
candy47, Everyone involved with the production does such energizingly convincing, excellent jobs. It's one of the three drama movies by J.C. Chandor that I regularly pull back off the shelf and pop into the DVD player.
I've watched Margin Call a few times. It reverses my mood when I'm feeling lethargic.
sandyspider, Yes, Margin Call is a must-see film that I'm so glad to have since there's a lot of realistic acting and real-world situations to watch and re-watch. Mira mentions Jeremy Irons as possibly being the best of an all-around excellent cast, and I tend to agree with her.
Margin Call is something we all need to see.I have not yet and after reading this review it is a must on my list.
Mira, It's a film that I pull off the shelf and watch a couple of times each year. It has such insights into business personalities and economic trends.
Me too, I agree that the mood, the pace, the performances -- especially Jeremy Irons -- and the psychologies -- particularly the mature reactions of Demi Moore's character as opposed to the freaking-out of the young bar-hopper -- are all top-notch. In terms of the business, I wonder if part of the vagueness stems from the fact that JC Chandor and his family have financial careers in their backgrounds and so he needed not to get too specific since exactness could identify a contact with whom the family socialize or a source for the film's information.
Did you hear the grave-digging sounds persisting after the film ends? It seems fitting since Kevin Spacey's character just wants to retire at this point and mourn his dog and since the business got away -- this time -- with breaking into the danger zone outside the safety net where books get balanced, losses get covered, and profits get made.
Please let me know what you think of the other two films.
I watched this movie last night. Thank you for the review. Without your comments I wouldn't have noticed it in the TV program. I look forward to seeing the other two films.
I liked it. I didn't like the fact that they were so vague about their business, but they had the mood right (I think). Also the pace. And of course I liked the acting. I kept thinking how these actors played those people in a way that made you believe they were high-paid businessmen in a situation of crisis. I appreciated the fact that only the younger cadets freaked out, while someone like the character of Demi Moore, who showed much concern about her position, was in the end simply waiting for her severance package. Of all of them, I think I liked Jeremy Irons's acting the best.
Mira, Please let me know what you think of Margin Call. All Is Lost, Margin Call, and now A Most Violent Year are all films that I have for multiple, repeat viewing enjoyment.
Triple Frontier should be quite a film, just based on the plot's setting in an area as troubled as that between Bolivia and Brazil. Another film to look for this year or next is The Lost City of Z -- produced by Brad Pitt -- about the Bolivian and Brazilian investigations conducted by Percy Fawcett before disappearing in the Amazon.
Will look out for it, and am also planning on ordering The Margin Call.
Mira, There's talk that JC Chandor -- whose family background is investment banking and whose professional career was oriented toward commercials before the switch to feature films -- will direct Triple Frontier, about intrigue and mystery at the chaotic border meetings of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. If that's so, then -- based upon his previous record of 3 straight winners out of 3 -- this may give him a fourth win in terms of acclaim, impact, and revenue.
I caught some talk last night on CNN about margin financing in China. I should really watch this movie :) By the way, I watched the original The Day the Earth Stood Still, at your recommendation, and really enjoyed it.