UPDATE: J.C. Chandor’s “Margin Call” Captures the Cultural Relevance of Occupy Wall Street

Posted by Ece Öncü on 10.21.2011

Due to the overwhelming demand for tickets to Margin Call, we added an 11:05PM screening on Saturday night at The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

Although Margin Call is based on the 2008 financial crisis, its release today could hardly be more timely. Over the past few weeks, the movement known as Occupy Wall Street has grown from a single demonstration in Zuccotti Park in New York City to a series of major protests in cities across the United States and around the world. The anti-corporate sentiment that has fueled it combined with people's growing dissatisfaction with the corruption on display in our financial system is what makes the film so prescient.

J.C. Chandor's Margin Call chronicles a 24-hour period at a New York investment bank leading up to the financial collapse. Realizing that the company is on the verge of a great meltdown, the corporate team struggles to save it. During this volatile time, Margin Call unveils closeted secrets, hidden agendas, miscalculated errors and greed, as well as the bankers' humanity and helplessness against the unfolding crisis. The New York Times' chief film critic A.O. Scott gives a glowing review of the film, calling it "relentless in its honesty and shrewd in its insights and techniques," and choosing the film as "Critics Pick."

Instead of demonizing the bankers, J.C. Sandor excels in "captur[ing] its cast of high-powered bankers as human beings," says Andrew O'Hehir of Salon. Critics agree that Margin Call is an impressive first film by J.C. Chandor. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly writes "the gripping intrigue of Margin Call is the way it puts you right up close to the decision-making, the mix of greed, fear, and cunning." Emphasizing the film's particular relevance, David Edelstein of New York Magazine declares that "J. C. Chandor’s Margin Call is to Occupy Wall Street what The China Syndrome was to Three Mile Island."

Margin Call opens this weekend Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, playing eleven times a day all week. For a full list of showtimes, please click here.

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