Monday 22 May 2023

Movie Review: Too Big To Fail (2011)

Genre: Drama
Director: Curtis Hanson
Starring: William Hurt, Billy Crudup, Paul Giamatti, James Woods, Cynthia Nixon, Bill Pullman
Running Time: 98 minutes

Synopsis: In 2008, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (William Hurt) and his team are thrust into an unfolding economic crisis when major investment banks start incurring huge losses due to mortgage defaults. A deal is arranged to bail out Bear Stearns, then investors turn on Lehman Brothers, where CEO Dick Fuld (James Woods) is slow to react. Paulson has to assess how far the government can intervene, with insurance giant AIG starting to wobble and international credit drying up.

What Works Well: Based on actual events, Andrew Ross Sorkin's book is adapted into a gripping behind-the-scenes drama, capturing the world's most influential bankers grappling with existential dilemmas as the global economy teeters on the brink of collapse. Director Curtis Hanson maintains compact control with a chiseled running length and clear but brief explanations of the crisis causes and status. A dream cast (also featuring Topher Grace, Kathy Baker, Tony Shalhoub, John Heard, and Edward Asner as Warren Buffet) ensures quality in every role.

What Does Not Work As Well: A parade of middle-aged (mostly) white men conversing in meetings and phone calls is the limit of this drama, and beyond the most key characters, keeping track of the blizzard of individual and corporate names is next to impossible.

Conclusion: Bankers rescuing bankers can generate surprising cinematic tension.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome reader comments about this post.