Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Zachary Quinto's star turn in MARGIN CALL

Openly gay actor Zachary Quinto plays a leading role in this just-released film. Reviews of his performance have been uniformly excellent. Until I read today’s reviews, I had not realized that Quinto was also one of the film’s producers. Here's the trailer:

At a Goldman Sachs-like investment firm, the company is being battered by another round of layoffs. The casualties include one risk management officer (Stanley Tucci), who has been evaluating the company's numbers. As he shuffles out the door, he hands his USB drive to his assistant, entry-level analyst Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto), with the warning, "Be careful."

Peter runs the numbers, and realizes the company's troubles are much worse than previously believed. Chandor's screenplay does a good job explaining how the company's reckless investment strategies have put them on the precipice of total ruin. Viewers might not understand the world of credit-default swaps and other financial chicanery, but won't misinterpret the faces of the actors gazing at computer screens with growing horror.

The bad news goes up the firm's chain of command, from Peter's hard-nosed boss Will (Paul Bettany) to Will's avuncular boss Sam (Kevin Spacey), then to his smooth shark of a boss, Jared (Simon Baker) and finally to the CEO of the company, played to the hilt by Jeremy Irons. The running joke is that as the information moves higher, the bigwigs understand less and less what the company actually does, until we get to Irons' CEO, who tells Peter, "Explain it to me as if I were a small child, or a golden retriever."

The drama comes as the executives weigh whether to unload all their toxic assets in a one-day "fire sale" that will get them off their books, but cripple the company's credibility and possibly bankrupt their customers. Spacey's character emerges as the voice of moral conscience. He delivers two excellent rally-the-troops speeches, even more impressive because we can tell that, deep down, his character doesn't believe what he's saying.

But all the cast is good, even Demi Moore as a ruthless executive who advocated the reckless strategies and now is trying to cover her flank against the blowback.

Although set in 2008, some of the dialogue in "Margin Call" feels like it could have been written last week. Irons has a gloriously cynical closing monologue where he talks about how "the percentages always stay the same" between the winners and losers in the world, and one can't help but think of "99 percent vs. 1 percent." But for a film that captures the arguments of the moment so well, it's a taut, powerful film that transcends the headlines.

If you’d like to see a little more of Mr. Quinto, watch this TV clip (click on link below):
Click here: Quinto's sauna scene from TV

No comments:

Post a Comment