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Margin calls

Two movies this week, one new — “Margin Call” — and one old a second time — Alan Pakula’s “Klute.” Both didn’t live up to what I expected or recalled.

“Margin Call” got off to a phenomenal start. I’ve never seen any movie capture the feeling of being at a large U.S. investment bank better: the swearing, the repeated expletives, the English traders sprinkled among the Americans, the let’s- fire people-and-talk-about-them-no-more days, the perpetual fascination with how much money other people are making. But then it went on a bit too long and got a little too improbable. A friend of mine claimed it wasn’t improbable at all, just an accelerated one-day version of what happened with mortgages over? six months, and that may be true, but it lost my interest towards the end. Nevertheless, a very accurate portrayal of the trappings of a culture.

I also watched “Klute” from Netflix. Good to pass the time, but less convincing and cornier than I remembered. Very dramatic music but not that much genuine tension. And Jane Fonda, the prostitute turning tricks who is ultimately won over by someone’s care? She is great at playing a tough woman, but very unconvincing as someone with a meltable? heart of gold. The only way you know that she’s been touched by Klute’s care is that she tells her shrink about how touched she is, repeatedly. But she doesn’t look or sound touched at all.


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