Based around a fictitious trading firm whose on the brink of collapse when an in house analyst discovers a flaw in their business model MARGIN CALL could easily be likened to a fictional account of how the GFC happened.
Housed within a 24 hour window from discovery to resolution, the film packs a solid dialogue driven punch that is intoxicating to watch. The screenplay is helped by a plethora of notable performers led by an almost career best from Kevin Spacey and also showcases a surprisingly hard edged Simon Baker. Zachary Quinto (who also produces the film), Penn Badgely, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore (she hasn’t been this good in years) and Jeremy Irons round out the principle cast. Unlike other big cast movies that rely on effects or set pieces to drive it, MARGIN CALL’s greatest asset is the dialogue – it’s punchy, urgent, cynical, immoral and impactful.
Yes there are a few flaws in here, some of the character arcs don’t make much sense (Bettany and Irons are a little hammy) especially in the case of Stanley Tucci and this would surely be considered a TV movie in many circles – but these are moot points as the tension keeps racheting up and the urgency of proceedings is almost palpable.
This is a stunning first feature for J.C. Chandor (who also wrote it) and shows that smart scripting, strong dialogue and character driven stories are alive and well.
MARGIN CALL opens THURSDAY MARCH 15, 2012 in CINEMAS in AUSTRALIA through BECKER FILM GROUP