Kevin Spacey bank movie asks "are we all greedy?"

Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:29am EST
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By Mike Collett-White

BERLIN (Reuters) - Kevin Spacey stars in first-time director J.C. Chandor's "Margin Call," a drama set in a New York bank as it scrambles to offload massive toxic debts irrespective of what it means for the market or the population as a whole.

Spacey, as long-serving trading boss Sam, wrestles with the knowledge that his actions will harm the bank's reputation and put people out of work, but he, like others in a cast including Demi Moore, feels obliged to follow orders as that is what pays.

Chandor said the movie, which has its premiere at the Berlin film festival on Friday where it is in the main competition, sought to humanize the world of big-bonus banks and to show that greed went further than the world of finance.

"What the script for me is about is not excessive greed on any one individual's part, but it was the greed on a very small scale of the whole population, certainly in the United States," he told reporters after the official press screening.

Spacey said he welcomed the opportunity to explore what it was like for people caught in the center of the financial crash in 2008.

"There was a period of time where you couldn't pick up a newspaper and not read that every banker was the most horrible and greedy person that walked the face of the earth," the Oscar-winning actor told a news conference.

"The truth is ... in a lot of cases, these are regular people who have regular jobs who aren't making gazillions of dollars and who have to follow orders, and that's the crux of the morality of the piece and why I found it so fascinating."


<p>Actor Kevin Spacey addresses a news conference to promote the movie 'Margin Call' at the 61st Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 11, 2011. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz</p>