Will Occupy Wall Street Help or Hurt "Margin Call"?

by Anthony Kaufman
October 19, 2011 6:29 AM
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Will America's growing anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street fervor help or hurt the new Wall Street-themed indie drama "Margin Call," which opens in theaters this Friday?

After its Sundance debut, the film received mixed to good reviews, with Variety's Justin Chang calling it "a methodical, coolly absorbing boardroom thriller set on the eve of the 2008 economic collapse." It couldn't have seemed a better time for the film. With a little distance, audiences could enjoy seeing corporate insiders sweat out their disastrous conditions and muck up their temporary survival.

While some moviegoers might still be tantalized by such a Mametesque exercise, with protests in the streets and calls for taxing the rich, does anyone want to see a bunch of stars (Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, etc) depicting the internal struggles and internecine warfare of the well-dressed corporate greedy set?

As Melissa Anderson writes in the Village Voice, the film "suffers from a deflated sense of timeliness; its thin origin story about how the economy went to hell—released in theaters three years after the fact and against the roar of the real-life '99 percent' protesting across the country—seems like an out-of-touch, unconvincing exercise in hand-wringing."

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