With Oscar prospects plummeting for the anti-Wall Street film The Big Short, Brad Pitt is rallying Tinseltown progressives to pump up the buzz for his two-hour morality lecture.
At the New York premiere of The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Pitt, whose Plan B Entertainment teamed with Paramount to produce to put up the $28 million to produce the movie, gave an angry interview to the Hollywood Reporter about how Wall Street greed is still unfettered and justice for the millions of foreclosed homeowner victims is still elusive.
“It’s disgusting. It makes me angry,” Pitt said, that the housing and credit bubble put millions of Americans on the street due to foreclosures. He added, “What I liked about the film is that it tries to explain to people how they got screwed.”
The Big Short book was a smash that hit number one on the New York Times Best Seller non-fiction list in its first week of release in April 2010. Despite being almost 2,000 pages in length, the book stayed on the list for the next 28 weeks and sold over 2 million copies. By being sad, funny, gripping and illuminating, author Michael Lewis spoke to a huge number of readers with diverse backgrounds.
In 2011, Short won the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights 2011 book award, given each year to the author who “most faithfully and forcefully reflects Robert Kennedy’s purposes–his concern for the poor and the powerless, his struggle for honest and even-handed justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity.”
Pitt assembled a star-studded cast that includes Christian Bale, Steven Carrel, Marissa Tomei, Selena Gomez, Ryan Gosling, Finn Wittrock and himself for what was expected to be a high-tension and action-packed true story of how a small peripheral group of investors figured out that the mortgage market had become one of the most inflated bubbles in the history of the planet and made “huge bank” shorting its crash.
Despite the book’s intense drilling down on the characters and the clear analysis of how the mortgage Ponzi scheme worked in the mid-2000s, McKay used celebrity cameos from Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie as experts to sneer theatrically.
According to Variety, the film “hits its share of sour notes; some important plot points are nearly impossible for laypeople to decipher even with cheeky, fourth-wall-obliterating tutorials, and the combination of eye-crossing subject matter and nontraditional structure makes it a risky bet at the box office.”
But given the success of the book, and Hollywood’s groupthink assumption that Americans must learn to enjoy listening to progressives moralize about economic justice and social equality, the film was whispered to be a top three Academy Awards prospect.
But that has not been the case. According to the closely watched “Indiewire 2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture,” it seems that the The Big Short has steadily fallen and is now out of the top ten list.
Sensing the film was lacking buzz, the marketing budget for The Big Short was pumped up with multiple trailers and 30-second television advertisements blanketing network TV three weeks prior to the movie’s opening.
Brad Pitt came into the Academy Awards competition with the huge advantage of a blockbuster book having a huge built-in audience. But he has to be angry that The Big Short movie is about to be a serious bust.