The Rise of COVID-19 Pandemic Movies: Introducing ‘Dumb Money’ – A Deeply Human Story of the WallStreetBets GameStop Scandal

The Rise of COVID-19 Pandemic Movies: Introducing “Dumb Money”

As we reflect on the past few years, it’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has left a profound impact on various aspects of our lives. It’s no surprise then that the film industry has taken an interest in depicting this extraordinary time in history. One of the latest projects to tackle this subject is director Craig Gillespie’s highly-anticipated biographical dramedy, “Dumb Money,” which delves into the infamous WallStreetBets GameStop scandal. This film boasts an exceptional cast that managed to spark my curiosity about the stock market, even though I had always felt clueless about how it operates.

World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

The Toronto International Film Festival is currently underway, and “Dumb Money” is among the many upcoming projects that had its world premiere this year. The movie’s title refers to amateur traders who sometimes suffer losses at the hands of major money managers and hedge funds. The true story at the heart of this film revolves around the r/WallStreetBets subreddit page, which united in 2021 to purchase GameStop stocks and squeeze hedge fund companies.

A More Human Story

Initially, one might question the decision to adapt this stock controversy into a movie. However, thanks to the brilliant script by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo, “Dumb Money” becomes a deeply human story. The film achieves this by featuring a large ensemble cast, which not only puts faces to the power players involved in the infamous controversy, but also introduces us to some of the everyday people who were inspired by r/WallStreetBets. These individuals bought and held stocks, aiming to make money and challenge the billionaires who ran the hedge funds. Ultimately, this clash ignited a bonafide class war that showcased the wealth disparity in our country.

A Multifaceted Ensemble Cast

In all honesty, I felt a little lost during the first 15 minutes of “Dumb Money” since I was not familiar with the GameStop stock controversy from 2021. However, the movie’s script skillfully provided enough exposition to enable me to catch up eventually. In the meantime, I found myself captivated by the multitude of characters in the large ensemble cast, some of whom portrayed real-life figures.

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Paul Dano delivers an outstanding performance as protagonist Keith Gill, also known as Roaring Kitty, who played a pivotal role in the financial revolution surrounding GameStop’s stocks. The movie expertly portrays his character, with footage of the real-life figure revealed in the film’s final moments. Shailene Woodley, known for her role in “Big Little Lies,” shines as Keith’s wife Caroline and arguably becomes the heart of the movie. Additionally, Pete Davidson steals the scene as Keith’s brother, while America Ferrera, fresh off her iconic Barbie monologue, delivers a notable performance as one of the casual traders who become involved in the movement. Other familiar faces include Anthony Ramos from “Hamilton,” Seth Rogen, Nick Offerman, Vincent D’Onofrio, and the beloved Kate Burton from Shondaland productions. It’s truly remarkable how this ensemble cast was assembled, with each actor delivering an exceptional performance and contributing to making “Dumb Money” an unforgettable cinematic experience.

Brilliant Direction and Engaging Storytelling

Craig Gillespie’s direction in “Dumb Money” deserves significant praise. The film’s 104-minute runtime passes by swiftly, thanks to excellent pacing and a strong editing style. The soundtrack perfectly captures the time period of the movie, featuring tracks like Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” and Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” Furthermore, the integration of real-life news reports about WallStreetBets and social media posts from the time adds a consistently fascinating layer to the film, even for those like myself who had limited knowledge of the subject matter beforehand.

Coming Soon to Theaters

Fortunately, for those unable to attend the Toronto International Film Festival, “Dumb Money” is set to have a wide theatrical release on September 15th. In the meantime, be sure to check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next captivating movie experience.

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