Friday, October 28, 2011

"Margin Call" - Review by a ZQC Member

As "Margin Call" gathers momentum, there has been some talk about Oscar nominations.

I haven't watched the movie yet, but from the rave reviews I've read from some heavy press and top critics, I hope it does head toward that direction.

For those in LA and NY, there are some events coming up with the director and producers of the movie this Saturday!

On 29 October, in LA, our favourite bb Zachary Quinto (hopefully wearing a beanie??) and Before The Door partner and one of the movie's producer Neal Dodson, will appear for a special post-show Q&A at the 7 pm screening at the Century City AMC. Do hurry and buy your tickets now before they sell out!

Over at the East Coast, in NY, writer/ director of  "Margin Call" J.C. Chandor will be stopping by the Angelika for a Q&A after the 5 pm show.

If anyone is attending these events, drop me a note! I'm sure many other fans would like to hear how these sessions went!

And to add on to @HardlyanAngel's thoughts of the movie, here's another "Margin Call" review from a ZQC member, @Sunfell!


It's one thing to hear about a movie a bit before it's released, and perhaps decide to go and see it, but it's quite another to follow a movie from its "Black List" listing to its opening day. Even before I hit the 'on demand' button, I had a lot invested in it. My sincere hope was that it wasn't going to be a damp squib.

I should not have worried.

"Margin Call" drew me in from the opening scenes, with its spare music and parade of HR people ready to go on a sack-attack. The first to fall is Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci), who gets totally cut off, but manages to give his underling Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) a thumb drive with some unfinished work on it. And it kept me riveted through its ascent - through Peter's eyes, through the ziggurat of power - as his discovery of what is on the thumb-drive snowballs into the disaster we are all familiar with. And make no mistake: this is a disaster movie. A horror movie, even. 

The look on Sullivan's face, when he realizes that the formula they've counted on to keep the music playing is fatally flawed, is a telling one. As the story progresses, we see the various characters (all realistically played by an all-star cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, and Simon Baker) reveal something of their inner selves, from Baker's shark to Spacey's broken heart. Penn Bagley plays Quinto's colleague and adds some moments of both humor and heartbreak to the story.

The language is raw and at times ugly and incomprehensible. I even heard some actual mathematical terms used like "tranching". And it is realistic. Almost documentarian at times, but happily without the shaky-cam that seems to be the norm in many such movies. I appreciated its silky visual clarity.

Also missing are the usual Hollywood tropes - no fights, car chases, unnecessary sex scenes or contrived plot twists. There are no heroes nor villains. They're all painfully aware of what is going on, but too tangled to escape. And there was an office-bound claustrophobia that reminded me a bit of "Das Boot" but which fits this story. When we do escape the office tower, it's to collect Dale, whose absence was more of a presence.

What I really appreciated was that the makers of this movie assumed that I was smart enough to judge things for myself. That is all too rare today, and I sincerely hope that Before The Door and Zach will come up with other stories of similar depth. They've already impressed me with their graphic novel offerings

This first film knocks it out of the park.


If you have already watched "Margin Call", do post your thoughts and comments here. 
Or share them on the Zachary Quinto's Biceps FB page!

Let's keep the discussion going!

1 comment:

  1. i.cant.wait. I'm taking a crowd to see it this Saturday. This review gets me even more excited to see it.