Thursday Movie Picks: The Financial World

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is about a field I would fail miserably in: the financial world. Luckily, they sometimes make really interesting movies and here are three of my favorites

1) Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Kevin recommended this documentary and he's absolutely right in calling it amazing. I had no idea what Enron was and I still found this doc to be very engrossing. 

2) The Wolf of Wall Street

My favorite Leonardo DiCaprio performance because he lets loose. Are they the worst Wall Street stock brokers or the best ones? There was a lot of coke involved. 

3) American Psycho

While the financial part isn't very prominent in the film, Patrick Bateman's day job is very important to him. BRB I have to go return some video tapes. 

17 comments:

  1. Interesting choices although I've only seen the first which I agree was involving despite my limited knowledge of finance.

    I know I should watch Wolf of Wall Street but I read that it's the record holder for the use of the F word in film. This will make me sound like a prude and I'm not. I don't take offense at swearing in films but when it's taken to excessive extremes which Scorsese has a penchant to do it takes me out of the film and I get bored. Sort of like "Oh I see you know all the dirty words, how nice for you. How about some dialogue now please."
    It's a sore spot for me.

    Not sure why I've never gotten around to American Psycho. I've heard good things but I'm not an enormous Bale fan so that's not a pull and the subject matter is not terribly appealing.

    I hopped around a bit decades wise for my three.

    Margin Call (2011)-When the head of risk management (Stanley Tucci) of a large Wall Street firm is unexpectedly laid off he tries to alert someone in the company of the project he was in the midst of that showed troubling evidence of an incipient mass failing of many money markets. He is met with total indifference so on his way out the door he hands the info to one of his assistants who is staying (Zachary Quinto). Intrigued at first and then dumbfounded by what he discovers he finally manages to attract the attention of the higher ups. As a series of late night conferences take place the dawning revelation becomes apparent that a global financial meltdown is set to occur and there is not a damn thing that can stop it. A well-directed look at the immediate lead up to the 2008 financial crisis.

    Working Girl (1988)-Mike Nichols directed comedy about ambitious Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith-never more appealing) who despite her college degree and keen intelligence has trouble getting ahead. She goes to work as secretary to Ivy League Katharine Parker (a priceless Sigourney Weaver) in mergers and acquisitions at a large Wall Street investment bank. Lulled into a false sense of security when Katharine seems to extend a helping hand she tells her a provocative idea for a merger that she’s come up with. Katharine without a shred of shame steals the idea behind her back. When circumstances allow Tess to become aware of the duplicity she uses subterfuge teaming with the unaware Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford-sprightly and relaxed) to bring the plan to fruition for herself. All does not go as planned. One of the rare comedies about the financial world that works.

    The Crash (1932)-Racy pre-code about Geoffrey and Linda Gault (George Brent & Ruth Chatterton-married in real life at the time), a rapacious couple who go to great lengths to accumulate wealth on the stock market up to and including Geoffrey encouraging Linda to pimp herself out for tips that can add to their fortune. She goes along because she can’t bear the thought of returning to the poverty of her youth. However when Geoffrey angers her with a request, she picks the precisely wrong time to hand him bad information and they are wiped out in the stock market crash of ’29. Staying together in name only while he tries to pick up the pieces she, haunted by her fears, continues to have gentleman friends who give her expensive things until a turning point is reached. Brief (only 58 minutes) and candid with a frankness that would vanish for decades with the implementation of the Production Code the next year.

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    1. I was disappointed with Margin Call, I just didn't find it very engaging.

      I'm not sure what you read about swearing in The Wolf of Wall Street is true. There is a lot of cursing but I don't think it's nearly enough to be any type of record holder.

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    2. I haven't seen Wolf of Wall Street so I have no idea if it does hold the record...But I'd think In The Loop is probably a contender...maybe not for the F-word...probably just in general swearing because there's a lot of creative cursing it it.

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  2. I love American Psycho! It is possibly my favorite Christian Bale movie. Wolf of Wall Street was amazing, although I haven't watched it again since the release.

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    1. He's so good in it. I actually preferred the movie to the book which rarely happens.

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  3. I didn't see your first pick. We match with Wolf of Wall Street which I hated and, yes, it is in the Guinness book of world records for the most swear words for a movie. I hated it. Oops, already said that:) I think I saw American Psycho but...maybe not. I will need to see it..again:)

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    1. It is? It didn't feel like there was that much swearing lol

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  4. We match with The Wolf of Wall Street. I truly hated that movie. American Psycho is great though.

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    1. lol. Lots of hate for Wolf of Wall Street today.

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  5. I haven't seen the Enron movie but I do love American Psycho though I think of it more as a serial killer film. The Wolf of Wall Street..... oh..... that film is fucking insane and oh.... how I wish it was much longer because that was so fun to watch.

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    1. It was a blast! I think if American Psycho as a serial killer film too, but I had already used the Big Short so I had to think outside the box.

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  6. Wolf and American Psycho are both in my top 30. They are just so crazy entertaining. DiCaprio's ludes scene is still one of the most surreal things I ever watched in theathre

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    1. I laughed so hard that I almost started crying. When I go to movies by myself, I rarely laugh loudly. I feel more at ease laughing when I'm with someone, but I was fucking rolling during that movie.

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  7. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. I think the financial world is really important in American Psycho. It's a great pick. I'm pretty sure they're trying to equate the kind of psychopathy we see on Wall Street with the serial killer kind of sadism.
    Also, have you read the book? I just read it for the first time and it's way more messed up than the movie.

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    1. I have read the book and it was one of the rare instances where I actually liked the movie better. I found it easier to listen to Patrick's tedious inner monologue than actually reading it.

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