Academy Award Previews — The Big Short

Today I continue my preview of the Academy Awards with one of the most interesting films of the year.

The Big Short
Starring: Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt
Total Nominations: 5
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Bale), Best Director (Adam McKay), Best Adapted Screenplay (McKay, Charles Randolph), and Best Editing
About: When you hear a movie is being made about the financial crisis, it's easy to be tempted to roll your eyes. But when you see "The Big Short," you realize great care was taken to make a dry subject come to life. That's a credit to the writers — McKay and Randolph, who adapted the book from Michael Lewis — the performers, and to the direction. McKay is best known as Will Ferrell's producing partner, and the director of many of his broad comedies, including "Anchorman." "The Big Short" has light-hearted moments, but it's a serious film about a serious subject. And McKay handles that well. I enjoyed the performances and the way the story is laid out. I think the film's best chance at an Academy Award might, in fact, be for that Adapted Screenplay, and the way they brought this subject to life in a fun and funny way. "The Big Short" is likely a long-shot for Best Picture, and McKay is a long-shot for Best director. In addition, while Bale could win, I think it's more likely that award goes to Stallone. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see "The Big Short" honored in the screenplay category, especially if the Academy wants to spread the love to a host of well-made films from this year.
Rating: R for pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity.
Verdict: Four stars out of four.
Where to See It: "The Big Short" is now playing in theaters nationwide.


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