This movie is bumming me out. Like, big, big, big time bumming me out.
In it, a young guy named Dennis (Andrew Garfield) hits some tough times and he, his young son, and his mother (Laura Dern) get evicted when their home goes into foreclosure. Real estate mogul Rick (Michael Shannon) is making serious bank helping to make those foreclosures happen, then buying up those empty homes for real cheap and repackaging them for new buyers. The money is staggering. Dennis is dazzled by it. He’s never made this kind of cash before, and mid-recession, he’s not likely to find even a fraction of it anywhere else. But it means working for the bad guys and evicting people, nice people, just like him.
Rick isn’t really the villain though, it’s the system that made him. “America doesn’t bail out the losers. America was built by bailing out winners. By rigging a nation of the winners, for the winners, by the winners.” Fucking ouch, eh?
Matt already reviewed this movie, but I feel compelled to write a bit about how devastated I am watching this. This is the real story, the faces that The Big Short failed to show us. THIS is the housing crisis. These are the real people who were booted out of their homes. In fact, when Andrew Garfield is pounding on people’s doors, those are, more often than not, real evictees answering them, often standing in their own foreclosed homes. Jason Reitman went for a similar effect in Up In the Air, interviewing real victims of downsizing on camera. Both these movies are symptoms of the same dirty disease, and it’s heartbreaking. And I can’t help but wonder if any of these homeless people are comforted by being portrayed, however compassionately, by Hollywood millionaires.
I’ve had this on my list since Matt’s review. It’s kinda ironic that ‘winners’ are highlighting the plight of those who got screwed, huh? Sometimes there’s more than just winners and losers / wolves and sheep … sometimes folks are a tad irked by what happens that they go make movies about it and highlight that something is broken.
This is at a theater not too far from me. Not sure I’ll see it there, but I might get the DVD when it comes out. Not a feel-good movie, I’m sure.
I had an uncle who took a “part time” job with a Cartage company years ago and what broke him was going to repossess a refrigerator in this single mom’s home. She was wailing, hanging onto the fridge as he and another guy were trying to get it on the dolly. Her little kids were watching and crying.
He quit the job a few hours later, rounded up a friend with a truck, got an old fridge somewhere and brought it to the lady that evening.
This movie has been on my list for a while…thanks for reminding me.
Probably not. But I think the point is to document the situation. And perhaps we can learn from it so it never happens again.
Oh, man. I’d heard about this movie but didn’t truly know what it was about until I read your post. I understood about 50% of The Big Short but the devastation that followed was clear as day. I definitely need to see this.
This film is devastating indeed and I love what you said about putting a *face* to the victims of the housing crisis. It’s such a well-acted film from start to finish, wish it had gotten more attention as The Big Short.
Exactly how I felt, Ruth.
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Really liked this. I agree that its pretty devastating which is why it really left a mark on me. And the performances from both Garfield and Shannon are just spell-binding. Great film
I always think Shannon is the greatest, but was surprised by how much I bought Garfield in his character’s skin.
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