Films and Television shows that inspire a career in the Financial Sector* Image and Photo Credit: Mary Cybulski, (c) 2013 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Many moons ago the planet was built on a very basic system of barter agreements – trading a basic commodity for another commodity. A concept perhaps founded in the Stone Age and since manipulated into a complex exchange for money, other money-backed commodities and indexes.
There have been a ton of movies and television shows based on the subject of money. In general the majority of such productions seem to focus on the link between power and money, a formula well utilised in Hollywood. Furthermore, in most cases these productions project cautionary tales, rather than that which would garner inspiration to begin a career in the financial sector. In these instances it is best to extract the positive examples that are portrayed in these films...
Wall Street – This is seemingly the benchmark. Generally if you ask any person working in a financial market which film illustrates the industry best they tend to go for the Oliver Stone 1987 high tension drama. It depicts the eighties in every which way and form but it gives an insight into the workings of Wall Street that will remain timeless. It created a cult following and spawned sequels and multiple references in many other films. A cautionary tale that ranks a full 10 out of ten!
Rogue Trader – Another cautionary tale…based on the true story of the collapse of Barings Bank. Ewan McGregor stars as Nick Leeson whose trading took the concept of risk to another level. There are a lot of talking points to this story, including who holds responsibility in such firms…
A solid 8 out of ten.
The Wolf of Wall Street – Oh boy well this changed the perceptions of many about what is success and what is just plain wrong. This story was picked out to depict the happenings of Wall Street and illustrated the mad business and trading adventures of one Jordan Belfort. The seasoned partnership of DiCaprio and Scorsese takes this cautionary tale and creates what at times seems unbelievable but actually is based on a true story. A fast moving 8 out of ten of what not to become…it however has some interesting sales lessons to take note of!
Scenes from The Wolf of Wall Street** Image and Photo Credit: Mary Cybulski, (c) 2013 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Boiler Room – It provided another example of fast trading and the selling of worthless stocks. Not as wild and pop filled as “Scorsese’s Wolf” but still definitely worth a watch just for the sales aspects alone. A dramatic 8 out of ten featuring some worthwhile performances from Giovanni Ribisi and Vin Diesel.
The Big Short by Michael Lewis - Image supplied by Penguin Random House
When Michael Lewis penned down The Big Short story, it was clear he did everything he could to explain a phenomenon numerous people just couldn't, let alone understand. The film solidly captures Lewis's portrayal of how the world entered a global financial and banking crisis. It even felt more like a Sherlock Holmes adventure than something that would inspire a career in the finance industry. The film however, provided an example of some of the demanding questions as well as the risks that individuals working in the finance sector must constantly deal with.
A worthwhile 10 out of 10 for both the book and film.
Margin Call – More investment and trading drama with a stellar cast. It dragged along but remained topical with its highlighting of the emergence of the global financial crisis in the late 2000's. A solid 6 out of ten.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – A follow up by Oliver Stone to his successful classic. It didn’t quite cut the mustard and left viewers asking why, what, huh. Though it started well it just faded into a flat 6 out of ten.
Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less – based on the popular Jeffery Archer novel, this was a slightly weak attempt of portraying a financial caper of sorts. The novel has provides depth into trading aspects along with how traders and brokers did deals. Miss the movie and get the book! The book gets 10 out of ten while movie gets a measly 3!
The Television shows:
Traders – a well received series that followed a Toronto based investment firm. It gained international mileage during its time as a different genre of television show - competing against the highly popular themes of legal and medical dramas. A worthwhile 8 out of ten.
Capital City – two seasons of a London-based bank delving into the adventures of its investment bankers…a questionable 6 out of ten.
The reality shows – Wall Street Warriors and CNBC AFRICA’s Top Trader – unrated - sorry but it is tough to watch reality television after viewing the productions of both Oliver Stone and Martin Scorsese.
These film and television shows are examples that can help inspire individuals with their career and education paths. If you want to find out more about movies, well then keep track of the industry on IMDb.com, Yahoo! Movies and Empire Magazine!
Image source and credit:
Mary Cybulski, (c) 2013 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
The Big Short by Michael Lewis - Image Supplied by Penguin Random House
FirstStep.me movie and television ranking criteria
10 out of ten entertaining, informative and inspiring
9 out of ten informative and inspiring
8 out of ten entertaining and informative
7 out of ten entertaining and inspiring
6 out of ten informative
5 out of ten inspiring
4 out of ten entertaining
3 out of ten worth a reference
2 out of ten it could have been better
1 out of ten it sparked an interest
Inspiring - did the production provide motivation to pursue a career or education in this industry?
Informative – did the production provide industry insight?
Entertaining – did the production capture the audience with a dramatic or comedic theme?
Reference – there is some merit to watching this production as it provides some form of inspiration, information or entertainment towards the relevant industry.
Could have been better – had potential but lacked in-depth entertainment, information and inspirational value.
Sparked an interest – the production was related to the industry but had no entertainment, information and inspirational value.