“The Big Short” is taking its case to Washington, D.C., Variety has learned.
The comedy about the financial crisis paints a devastating portrait of risk taking by the “too big to fail” banks and slams government officials for not doing more to crack down on Wall Street’s excesses.
The film’s director Adam McKay will visit Washington on Jan. 25 for a screening of “The Big Short” hosted by the economic studies branch at the Brookings Institution. After the screening, McKay will join a panel of financial experts and journalists to talk about the film’s efforts to explain the intricate methods that bankers used to package bad mortgages with good ones while making a fabulous profit.
Brookings is one of the oldest Beltway think tanks. Its research frequently delves into government and economic policy.
After the film, Economic Studies Vice President and Director Ted Gayer will introduce the evening’s panel and David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings, will moderate a discussion.
“The Big Short” represents a departure for McKay, who is best known for directing raunchy comedies such as “Anchorman” and “Step Brothers.” But reviews have been sterling and the film has performed well at the box office. It is expected to be a major Oscar contender. “The Big Short,” based on a book by “Moneyball” author Michael Lewis, stars Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling.
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On the awards campaign trail McKay has been a vocal critic of the overly cozy relationship he sees between politicians and corporate interests. At a luncheon for “The Big Short” this week he urged an audience of New York media and Oscar voters not to vote for politicians who take money from big oil, big banks and other financial juggernauts.
Now he takes his message into the lion’s den.