Inside Job

9 Nov

Title: Inside Job
Year: 2010
Director: Charles Ferguson
Writers: Chad Beck and Adam Bolt
Starring: Matt Damon (narrator)
MPAA Rating: PG-13, some drug and sex-related material
Runtime: 108 min
Major Awards: WGA Award
IMDb Rating: 7.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

Charles Ferguson has crafted a very meticulous documentary about the causes and consequences of the 2008 financial crisis which affected pretty much everyone everywhere. The story of it is told remarkably by Mr. Ferguson, he’s irritated by how everyone involved in the cause of this has gone basically unpunished, he’s angry about how we have been seemingly betrayed by these individuals. And he tells all of this pretty effectively, this goes by really fast, the pacing is excellent and we get deeply involved in the stuff he’s showing us.

I liked it when Inside Job turned angrier and more frustrated as it told the story, I mean it started out really calm and easy, just analyzing everything slowly, and then as the information kept pouring in the tone of the film became more and more angry, and the pacing faster, all to a tremendous overall effect. And this is a film that needed this effect, because it tells a very dense and complex story, this is a subject that I thought would be difficult to tell on film without making it seem like a taped college lecture, but Mr. Ferguson completely nails this one. He tells the story without once coming close to boring us, and he throws a lot of information at us as he explains what happens, using various clips and interviews to aid his telling of this, as well as Matt Damon’s voice as the narrator.

Now, when I say the tone of Inside Job turns rather angry I don’t mean to say that Mr. Ferguson just starts ranting like crazy and speaking nonsense, because he doesn’t, his angriness and frustration at the topic are all grounded on solid reasonable facts and well-done research. This, of course, would come as no surprise to anyone who has seen Mr. Ferguson’s previous documentary, No End in Sight, which was about the shitty job former president George W. Bush did in Iraq. That effort of his was nominated for a Best Documentary Academy Award, and this one is just as deserving.

This is obviously a very different film, though, it encompasses a much broader subject, and not only that, but it spans a larger amount of time, as Inside Job takes us all the way to the eighties and how they influenced the crisis that happened over two decades later. This is a film that tackles a very serious topic, a film that echoes greatly in today’s world. The documentary informs us on the subject eloquently, it creates a sense of urgency and it is all extremely well-argued.

And what’s best about Inside Job, is that it doesn’t need you to be an expert on the topic. I knew a bit on the subject, and while that definitely gives you a certain advantage, you could potentially go into this one knowing pretty much nothing on the subject and it wouldn’t make the difference. And to be honest, everyone knows at least something about the crisis, so that’s no problem, but yes, even if you don’t know the first thing about credits and debts you’ll still learn from this film, you’ll still comprehend this film, and you’ll still feel angry as you see Mr. Ferguson examine the shortcomings that got the economy to collapse in 2008. And that really is terrific, documentaries on topics as extensive and complex as this one sometimes needs you to have some sort of expertise on the subject, but this one is incredibly accessible and needs no master’s degree. It just needs your attention, and with the nice pacing, nice graphics and Matt Damon’s voice guiding you through it, you’ll give your attention to it without questions.

I loved Inside Job, I loved how it clearly illustrated dense information, I loved how informed its exasperation was, how passionate its anger felt. And yes, you’ll see some of Mr. Ferguson’s interviewees blatantly dodge some of his questions, some important academics and financial experts being at a loss for words, but Mr. Ferguson has words to spare, and some of his interviewees are quite open to talk, and as such the overall result is fantastic, and I think he should be getting his second Oscar nomination easily.

Grade: B+


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