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.