The Big Short tells the true story of a few people that in the mid-2000s realise the existence of the housing bubble, predict its downfall and then decide to short it (bet against in the non-technical explanation given in the film).
The cast includes Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt and even though Bale is nominated for an Oscar for his superb performance, it is Carell who carries the movie at times, with his angry and righteous persona. Ryan Gosling provides the narration of the story, although his character is part of it, he is used as the linchpin between the movie and the audience, explaining the banking-terms and the jargon.
The film tries to make the seemingly boring theme of Banking that most people have no interest in, appealing to the viewer through jokes, celebrity cameos and its self-consciousness to its boring nature. Most of the jokes work and at times the comedy goes as far as masking the drama behind it. Moreover some of the characters in the movie break the 4th wall, turning to the camera and telling us what they are thinking, inaccuracies in the film compared to what actually happened, making it absorbing and enjoyable to watch, considering I have no interest in banking what so ever.
Adam McKay chooses to follow a sort-of documentary approach at certain times, with close-ups that follow the characters in an unconventional way, out of focus shots and not totally steady camera work. It is weird to watch at first, but as the film progresses and I got used to it and expected it, I started to appreciate it a bit.
The writing is exceptional, it really is an example of how any subject, no matter how tedious or uninteresting it may seem, can be turned into a very good, compelling and Oscar-nominated movie, when there is a great story to tell.