Analyst Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) discovers discrepancies in his company’s financial projections and realises that things are going to turn very bad, very quickly. Peter, with the help of his friend and colleague Seth Bregman (Penn Badgley) informs Will Emerson (Paul Bettany), an experienced market trader, and together they slowly move up the hierarchy of the bank during one night, trying to explain to the bosses what’s going to happen and if there’s actually any way to stop it.
For such a stuffy and possibly boring subject, Margin Call is gripping and that is down to a great script and brilliant acting. Jeremy Irons is the CEO who just wants his company to survive no matter the consequences while Kevin Spacey is the head trader who wants to be honest but is stuck in the business. Considering Margin Call is less than two hours long and the fact it’s set across one night, you get to grips with the characters pretty well by the end of the film.
Margin Call also manages to offer some humanity to those who caused or were a part of the financial crisis of 2008. In the media they are just “the Banks” and you forget that honest people who were just doing their jobs were a part of the businesses that made a mess for everyone. It really is a credit to the script and the cast that each actor is allowed their moment to shine.
Considering Margin Call is about the financial crisis, a topic that could be dense and boring, Margin Call is gripping, interesting and has some great performances. 5/5.