The following post is by Dealbreaker reader and commenter Infinite Guest.
“Margin Call” is not “Wall Street,” “Boiler Room,” or “Glengarry Glen Ross.” It’s not trying to be any of those. There are no fistfights, car chases or explosions. There are no dick jokes. Strippers, hookers and blow are alluded to, but remain off-screen. Despite the short time line and urgency of the situation, nobody races against a literal ticking clock. And the kind of person who hates “Star Wars” because sound doesn’t travel in a vacuum or who gave up on “Full Metal Jacket” when Pyle somehow managed to get a loaded gun off the range will not be able to sit through “Margin Call:” it requires some suspension of disbelief.
On the other hand, if you want to spend two hours reliving the feelings of despair and helplessness from 2008, this might just be your movie. Read more »
To research his role in Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, Shia LaBeouf spent a good deal of time at John Thomas Financial, an Encino branch of Charles Schwab and Goldman Sachs. It was there he learned how to stick $20,000 in an online brokerage account and turn it into $450,00-ish in a matter of months, wow the shit out of Lloyd Blankfein in the 47th round of interviews, and insider tips for passing Level I of the CFA. You know what he never did? Ask any of the guys he was shadowing about their feelings. Same goes for Penn Badgely, who spent some time on the Citi trading floor to prep for his role as a junior analyst in Margin Call (where he learned that “young traders sport ‘nice clothes that were not terribly tailored’ and that that the term ‘bucks’ means millions”). That’s because these two whippersnappers only care about the surface. They’re not interested in drilling down to the person underneath that suit and the fifties still stuck to your ass from the weekend. One guy who is? Kevin Spacey. He cares, deeply.
“I am trying to humanize bankers,” said Kevin Spacey, the Academy Award-winning actor, who plays a senior trader in Margin Call. “Everyone talks about facts, figures and debt. I was more interested in what they were feeling.”
Kevin Spacey is reportedly starring in a 24-esque film called Margin Call (also starring Demi Moore as a chief risk officer). Last week Spacey started researching the role at Citi’s downtown offices where he peppered the Little Viks with questions such as “What is it like to earn millions of dollars in one afternoon [which presumably garnered looks of confusion] and what about losing that amount” and “Is it possible to be good at what you do without liking the company you work for,” and by extension, your boss? Read more »