TIFF ’23: Dumb Money

Who knew that financial movies about the world finance would become so hot?

After the success of Johnson’s BlackBerry earlier this year, Dumb Money is another film that speaks to the role of technology and its impact on the world of finance. However, unlike BlackBerryDumb Money embraces the ridiculous nature of truth with style and flair that makes the movie a ton of fun. 

Directed by Craig Gillespie, Dumb Money tells the true story of Keith Gill (Paul Dano), an amateur investor who operates his YouTube channel out of his basement. At the height of the pandemic, while hedge fund managers like Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen) were betting big against the failure of small stocks, Gill came to like the upside of GameStop shares. To him, it was a company that was undervalued and he took to the world of Reddit to share his views. Then, as his followers began to pay attention, the stock shockingly flourished as Gill and his internet army put the squeeze on big money.

Money deals with some complicated financial concepts yet its playfulness keeps the viewer engaged. Whether it’s TikTok videos, memes, or YouTube clips, Gillespie never allows the camera to stop moving. The energy of its depiction allows the viewer to believe that they’re engaging with Gill and the internet subculture. In doing so, Gillespie ensures that, even if the audience doesn’t fully understand the world of stocks and shorts, they feellike they’re following along. 

In the end, Dumb Money may not a profound character piece or in-depth psychological drama. Instead, this is a film that works effectively and wears its heart on its sleeve. Smartly-written, sassy and savvy, Dumb Money is a fun-fueled battle against the bullies in all our lives.

Dumb Money is now playing at TIFF ’23. For more information, click here.

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