THE Big Short is the third Michael Lewis book to be adapted into a film and the third
THE Big Short is the third Michael Lewis book to be adapted into a film and the third to be nominated for a best picture Oscar.
It follows the adaptation of his books The Blind Side (2009), telling the story of American football player Michael Oher, and Moneyball (2011), about the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s record 20-game unbeaten run in the 2002 season.
Neither won the prize, but The Big Short could be the first adaptation of a Lewis book to do so.
With a bumper cast including Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, it certainly has the roster for it.
All four play traders who at different points predict the impending credit crunch of 2007 that sent the world economy into the turmoil from which it is still recovering.
Bale plays banker Michael Burry. Blind in one eye and diagnosed with Asperger’s, as early as 2005 he predicts the bursting of the financial bubble and bets against the collateralised debt obligations (CDOs), linked to the US sub-prime mortgage market, before the system fails. The company he works for, Scion Capital, eventually makes billions of dollars because of his prediction, despite investors revolting against Burry.
Carell and Gosling, as Mark Baum and Jared Vennett respectively, are the only two main characters to meet in the film — by chance due to the latter dialling an incorrect number.
Baum runs his own firm and is informed of the impending collapse by Vennett.
He explains to Baum and his team of traders about how poor quality loans are packaged into one and falsely given high ratings by the ratings agencies because of dishonesty and conflicts of interest.
The duo attend the American Securitisation Forum where Baum (Carrell) realises the extent of the problem and the impending economic collapse.
Pitt, who also acted as a producer on the film, plays the least significant role of the title actors.
He assists two small-time traders played by Finn Wittrock (Noah) and John Magaro (Carol) as they look to get involved and make some serious money as part of Lewis’s story looking at the key figures who saw the crash coming.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see hisÂ latest book Flash Boys,Â looking at theÂ US stock market,Â as another adaptation by the master storyteller that could skyrocket to critical acclaim.
The Big Short is now showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse.