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The movies’ surprising blind spot: Corporate greed

Considering that market capitalism drives nearly the entire world economy and dictates the wealth or poverty of us all, movies have done a surprisingly bad job of depicting how it actually works. There are a handful of exceptions made since the big financial collapse of 2008, but none that has made a major cultural splash. I thought Richard Gere deserved an Oscar nomination last year for his role as an embattled hedge-fund tycoon in Nicholas Jarecki’s “Arbitrage,” but that was essentially a family melodrama dressed in high-end business attire. Writer-director J.C. Chandor’s 2011 indie hit “Margin Call” is probably the finest exception to the rule, taking us through 24 gritty hours inside a crisis-buffeted investment bank, amid a terrific ensemble cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Demi Moore and Zachary Quinto. Although both claustrophobic and moralistic, it’s fine drama, absolutely worth catching if you haven’t seen it.

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