In the nascent stages of the financial crisis, employees at a Manhattan investment bank weigh out the odds and their options--- “be first, be smarter, or cheat,” as the film’s motto goes. For us lay people, J.C. Chandor’s debut venture penning and directing a feature film is an enticing glimpse into the trading world: nobody really knows exactly what’s going on; the little guy crunches the numbers and the big guy guesses and “at the end of the day, one guy wins, one guys loses.” An image can
speak for itself, but Margin Call
sometimes slips into the obvious when things could be left implicit---the character of Seth (Penn Badgley) serves only this purpose. Otherwise, it’s bang on: the pacing, the ensemble cast (Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, to name a few), the timely and thrilling story; it all bodes well for Chandor as a new talent.