Too Big to Fail
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Centered around Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (William Hurt, who we will be seeing around Emmy time), the film charts the period when Lehman Brothers was spiraling into bankruptcy and how the government's decision not to bail them out exacerbated a worldwide crisis with AIG. Like a house of cards, the tenuous balance of the economic system was in danger of toppling unless some major moves and compromises could be made. Introducing a huge cast of characters, the narrative puts Paulson at the center of the action as he wrestles to maintain an overall financial stability. As a dramatic recreation and interpretation of events, this plays as a blow-by-blow thriller.Read more ›
The story is incredible... One caution: it's tough to keep all the players straight. I had to watch it a number of times in order to follow the cast of characters. You'll need to have time when you can concentrate to watch it.
It's a tale of tumbling dominos.... you'll be shocked at how the key players were not at all in front of what was happening. The story is incredible, complemented by excellent acting and a great cast.
Inside Job gives a longer term view of some of the same players (please see my review)... and their relationships before, during, and after the crisis. Shocking!
I hope this is helpful.
Too Big To Fail is an entertaining drama, BUT it is just that, a drama, not a documentary. You cannot take everything you see in this film to the bank. The movies made about the financial crisis fall into one of two categories; reenactment drama / documentary. Be aware which category the movies you choose to watch regarding this event fall into. This reenactment is well acted (a blessing as well as a curse), it paints a picture of who some of the key players were -during the crisis but not necessarily leading up to the crisis- and it describes a few of the elements that triggered the events (though the actual explanation of what created the crisis is lacking). But when unrecorded conversations that took place behind closed doors are scripted by someone who wasn't there, and character attributes are assigned to actors playing key people in positions of great power, truth sometimes becomes a casualty of drama, not to mention any (well intentioned or otherwise) agenda by the book author / film maker that creeps in. Watching this production is an exercise of separating the wheat from the chaff.
If you want to view an actual documentary that depicts the events as they occurred check out "Inside Job". This production interviews the actual people working in the industry at the time (or at least the ones willing to appear on camera, which in and of itself is telling).
To further illustrate the point let's take one player as an example; Treasury Secretary Henry [Hank] Paulson.Read more ›
I am the first to admit that I find non-fiction much more palatable when wrapped around a good story. What TBTF does is to almost perfectly cast a star studded ensemble around a really good story.
I loved the characterizations of John Mack by Tony Shalhoub ("Cover your ears. Tell Tim Geithner to bl.w me!"), Lloyd Blankfein by Evan Handler ("You are stepping out of a limo going to the Federal Reserve and not a Higgins Boat storming Omaha Beach" and Jim Wilkinson by Topher Grace ("and we all know how well the Post Office works!"). Honorable mention to James Woods (Dick Fuld) & Billy Crudup (Tim Geithner).
IMHO, the real value of TBTF is in it's illustration of the multiple levels of incompetence:
1.) Despite having more employees than many private sector corporations, neither the Treasury, Federal Reserve or SEC knew that the British Banking Regulators had to approve any merger by Barclay's. BTW, this oversight was further compounded by Treasury steadfastly refusing to backstop Lehman for the 30-days it would take for a Barclay's share holder vote
2.) Dick Fuld walking into a meeting with a Korean bank that had already agreed to take a stake in Lehman sans their "toxic: real estate. Fuld wanted the suitor to take another look at the real estate, which caused a loss of "face" and killed the deal
3.) See #1. Not knowing how long it would take to enact the proposed toxic asset buy back program (AKA "Cash for Trash")
4.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very good movie. Gives an overview of what happened in 2009 and it can happen again. Interested viewers can search for more details onlinePublished 12 hours ago by Rodrigo Gaspar
Too Big to Fail shows the breadth and depth of the financial meltdown of 2008. One of the best depictions of the events during the crisis that I've seen.Published 1 day ago by TLong
If the movie is even remotely accurate to true events, it's scary to think how fragile our economy really is.Published 2 days ago by Maximillian Layog
Great, but very scary and enraging, movie which shows just how close we came to a financial meltdown in 2008. Very disturbing on a number of levels.Published 4 days ago by Daniel M Cox
Dry banking given life by the best Hollywood could find. William Hurt gives a performance that will give you pause to complicated financial situationsPublished 4 days ago by Nasty
Three maybe four starts. All star cast and movie based on an excellent book.Published 4 days ago by Mr. Difficult