Was it just me or did you also ask you say “Huh” when hearing that The Big Short was nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards? Not only that, but why was Christian Bale nominated for Best Supporting Actor and why did Adam McKay and Charles Randolph win Best Adapted Screenplay at last Sunday night’s Oscar’s ceremony? I mean, am I missing something? Sure, The Big Short is a good movie but Best Picture of 2015 material? I’m not so sure.

Why People Love The Big Short…

In addition to the 2 Oscar nominations and 1 win that I mentioned above, The Big Short was also nominated for Best Director for Adam McKay and Best Film Editing. It’s also is a critically acclaimed film with an 88% critic’s rating and an 89% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and was placed on many critics’ year end top 10 lists. In addition to the high regard among film critics and audiences, The Big Short managed to bring in $124 million on its $28 million shooting budget, despite opening in just 6th place its opening weekend.

While The Big Short is both a critical and financial success, I have problems with its tone, which I consider the biggest downside of the movie.

Why I Don’t Get The Praise For The Big Short…

Directed by Adam McKay who is best known for directing Anchor Man, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, the tone of The Big Short is not only a mess but it took me out of the movie in so many places. While many of Adam McKay’s previous movies are classics that make me laugh out loud, I also didn’t find The Big Short very funny despite it trying very hard to make jokes that just didn’t land. I also didn’t understand why the Best Supporting Actor nomination for this film went to Christian Bale. His performance was fine but I was far more impressed with Steve Carell, who I felt, was a scene stealer and pulled in the much stronger performance.

However, one of the main reasons I didn’t connect with The Big Short and why I feel that the tone was very much off was in its attempt to explain complex financial terms by using celebrity cameos. This was a hit or miss endeavor by the filmmakers, and for the most part, I found their inclusion to be both rather confusing and hard to follow. It was in the introduction to these cameos that celebrities, such as Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie, began to dumb down complicated terms for those unfamiliar with the mortgage market. However, I didn’t think that these cameos flowed well with the rest of the movie. The change of tone from a group of men trying to make money on the upending financial crisis to celebrities using cheeky sarcasm by breaking the fourth wall and explaining to us what was going on is what took me out of the movie. Usually, for a joke to work there needs to be a set up followed by a punch-line. However, these cameos were more like throw-away gags and were using people who knew nothing about the financial world to explain its concepts to people who they assumed knew nothing about the financial world. It was risky and while I applaud the filmmakers for trying, it was far too distracting for me. I didn’t think the entire movie was bad by any means but that its attempt was more impressive than the final product.

In the end, The Big Short IS A GOOD MOVIE with good performances, mainly from Steven Carell and it does delve into some interesting subject matter. However, I don’t think that it was BEST PICTURE MATERIAL in 2015, when Creed and Straight Outta Compton could have also been nominated and while I thought Christian Bale’s character was interesting, I DID NOT THINK he was worthy of a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

Margot Robbie in that bubble bath for the win.