My Favorite Thing About “The Big Short”

maxresdefaultIn addition to Creed, I recently watched The Big Short, a movie about the inception of America’s housing market collapse and resulting recession a few years ago. It’s a fascinating movie that feels kind of like a documentary, but with famous actors doing all the reenactments.

I actually bought my condo at the time when the movie begins, in 2005. Like many other people during that time, I was mistakenly given a subprime mortgage, and I didn’t know any better. I thought it was normal to have a variable rate and prepayment penalties. I was fortunate to get through it, and I still have that condo, but it’s had a lasting financial impact on me.

So it was interesting–and important–for me to learn about the big picture of what was happening during that time. I probably should have just read The Big Short a long time ago, but the movie served its purpose.

But here’s the key: The movie talks about some pretty complex stuff. It’s the kind of stuff that’s easy to tune out while trying to be entertained. The director seemed to recognize this, and he does something really clever whenever that complex stuff needs to be explained: He cuts to a famous person who explains it in their own way. At my count, he does this three times:

  1. Margot Robbie in a bathtub.
  2. Anthony Bourdain in a restaurant.
  3. Selina Gomez and some professor in a casino.

Each of the scenes has those people explaining complex concepts in interesting, easy-to-understand, and inherently watchable ways. I love this technique, and I appreciate it because it’s thanks to those scenes that I feel like I actually learned something.

Have you watched The Big Short? What did you think about those scenes?

4 thoughts on “My Favorite Thing About “The Big Short””

  1. I haven’t watched this movie, it looks really interesting. That’s something that we can definitely apply when explaining games, we should take few minutes when reading the rulebook and think how can we create short and easy concepts to explain complex games.

    Awesome! I’ll try to watch the movie this next weekend.

  2. I recently watched this too and LOVED that about it. It’s (I think) similar to the Daily Show or Colbert in that if you make news engaging, more citizens will be informed. It doesn’t have to be dry and boring (this coming from an NPR supporter). It was an excellent film!

    • I’m glad you liked that aspect too! That’s a good comparison to the Daily Show and other news shows that share the facts in entertaining ways.


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