The most elegant quality of J.C. Chandor’s indie hit MARGIN CALL is the way in which time unfolds. It works in that hyper-dramatic way that critical life events do, burning into your memory with hours slowing into what seem like days and minutes stretching forward almost interminably. It’s practically the only cinematic tool Chandor has to play with because, speaking of play, his film – about the last 24 hours in the life of an investment firm peddling bad mortgage bonds in 2008 – feels like one. Thankfully his singular touch on the experience of time unfolding saves a film without costumes, locations or interesting lighting (it’s a lot of fluorescents inside a very drab office). We’re left with the script and the performances, which is fine, but raises the question – why not throw this on a stage and be done with it?
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