THE BIG SHORT
2015, Paramount, 130 min, Dir: Adam McKay

In 2005, money manager Michael Burry (Christian Bale) is startled to discover highly rated mortgage bonds are based on delinquent home loans certain to default. As Wall Street bankers and government regulators ignore this ticking time bomb, Burry invents a financial instrument called the credit default swap in order to “short” the booming housing market. By the time things crash in 2008, he and a small group of contrarian investors (including Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt) will make billions yet will be forever changed by their experience, while millions of Americans lose their homes and the financial institutions responsible for the meltdown are bailed out by U.S. taxpayers.


VICE
2018, Annapurna Pictures, 132 min, Dir: Adam McKay

Spanning a half-century, Dick Cheney’s (Christian Bale) complex journey from rural Wyoming electrical worker to de facto president of the United States is a darkly comic and often unsettling inside look at the use and misuse of institutional power. Guided by his formidable and unfailingly loyal wife, Lynne (Amy Adams), and mentored by the brusque and blustery Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell), Cheney insinuated himself into the Washington, D.C., fabric beginning with the Nixon administration. In 2000, he left his position as CEO of Halliburton to run as vice president to George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) with the implicit understanding that he would exercise almost unchecked control. Cheney’s cunning and furtive political maneuvering have altered the American political landscape in ways that will continue to reverberate for decades to come, but it is clear there is more than one Dick Cheney - a man whose reputation in the public sector belies his private life and obvious devotion to his family.


BEAUTIFUL BOY
2018, Amazon Studios, 120 min, USA, Dir: Felix Van Groeningen

Belgian director Felix Van Groeningen’s (THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN) moving drama is based on the memoirs Beautiful Boy by David Sheff and Tweak by his son, Nic Sheff, offering two points of view on the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years. As father and son, Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet lead an outstanding cast that includes Maura Tierney and Amy Ryan. “Scrupulous and tenderly wounding - a drama that seizes and holds you. It’s a compelling movie whether or not it happens to speak to you personally, yet you can bet that a lot of people who have stood by and watched members of their families succumb to drug addiction are going to want to see it.” - Owen Gleiberman, Variety.


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