Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Financial Crisis—Hollywood Worthy?

Yes. Well, at least HBO thinks so. On May 23, 2011, the movie “Too Big To Fail” will premiere on HBO. The movie is based on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book of the same name detailing the financial meltdown three years ago. The movie attempts to capture the “behind the scenes” look at the men and women who were pivotal in determining the fate of the global economy in the weeks after Wall Street collapsed and the housing marketing imploded. The narrative focuses in particular on Henry Paulsen’s perspective, Secretary of the Treasury and former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs.

According to Sorkin “this story and this particular film and the book was really an opportunity to try to take the public inside the room so they could see what happened, so they could actually see the decisions that were made and what the opportunities were and the choices were that they actually had.” “In hindsight, everything looks black-and-white. But with 20/20 hindsight, it's different. When you're actually there, the choices were very different. And I think that this particular project really puts a focus on that. You get to see really what we were up against and how this was perhaps the most catastrophic thing that had happened in our economy since the Great Depression and that we were really on the edge. People don't really appreciate often how close to the edge we really were," he says.

The portrayal of the financial crisis boasts a star-studded cast including James Wood, Paul Giamatti, Tony Shalhoub. A synopsis of the film and scenes from the actual movie can be viewed on HBO’s website.

This isn’t the first time real-life financial and corporate disasters have been the subject of entertainment. In 2005, the documentary film “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” was produced chronicling the 2001 collapse of the Enron Corporation. Several movies about big-time fraudster Bernie Madoff are in post-production and are slated to come out this fall, including a spoof, “Tower Heist,” an action comedy starring Ben Stiller.

Whether truthful portrayals or light-hearted comedies, it seems we will be reliving the financial crisis and surrounding events for years to come, moving forward both in real and reel time.

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