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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Margin Call

October 15th, 2012 by Marc 3 Comments

Margin Call (15)
Directed by: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci and Kevin Spacey
Running Time: 107mins
Available on DVD & Blu-ray: 12 November 2012

Following the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the financial crisis, Margin Call is a surprise from the straight-to-DVD shelf.

For a movie that claims to be in the vein of behemoths Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross and coming from first-time movie writer/director JC Chandor, and one that, here in the UK, went straight toDVD/Blu-ray, you would be forgiven for writing Margin Call off. But you’d be making a grave mistake.

Margin call takes place over approx 36 hours in the Manhattan HQ of an investment bank as final crisis looms and pressure builds among the bankers in their Armani suits.

Of course, it’s easy to look at the cast list, Spacey, Quinto, Jeremy Irons and Stanley Tucci rarely give disapppointing performances and indeed it’s the powerful performances, here led by Quinto’s Peter Sullivan, that elevate this movie over, for example, the rather disappointing Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps by Oliver Stone. Mind you, it never quite reaches Glengarry heights, but this is not a criticism – so few movies do.

When Qunito’s Sullivan is given a file by the latest in a long-line of bankers to be fired, played by Stanley Tucci, he sees the future of the company laid out in front of him and his life takes an unexpected change. As the chain of command suddenly become aware of him and the attention is mostly unwanted. The real revelation here however is Kevin Spacey as the head of sales at the company who plays his character, not as you would expect, but rather as a put upon man who is trying to survive in a world where financial meltdown is merely a matter of when and not longer if.

Margin Call is one to definately check out, from relative obscurity it rises as a real contender, a movie that will find its audience through the home market, it’s a deep and powerful piece chronicling the life of a small bunch of people in the front line of a war that cannot be won.

Marc Savage
4 out of 5 Nerds

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….

  • Andrew

    This is an absolute powerhouse of performance and writing, a fantastic small movie that deserves, no DEMANDS to be seen. It’s not about the money, it’s about the people and their actions.

  • Andrew

    It wasn’t straight to DVD, it did get a small cinematic release, though it’s taken a LONG time to finally get to that media here – we reviewed it back in January on Monday Movie Show.

  • Anonymous

    I stand corrected Andy (Marc)

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