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The appeal of post-recession films

"The Big Short" is nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Last year, "Wolf of Wall Street" was also nominated for several Academy Awards.  Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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It seems we’ve officially made the transition from documentaries about the 2008 financial crisis to feature films about the crisis.

From movies like “The Big Short” to “The Wolf of Wall Street,” filmmakers, critics and audiences alike seem to be captivated by the mess left in the wake of the recent recession. But getting to this point took time, according to The New York Times writer Alessandra Stanley.

“It took four or five years for creators to sort of absorb [the financial recession] and for audiences to accept it,” Stanley said.

Stanley also notes that the makers of “The Big Short” were actually bracing themselves and audiences for the possibility of a future recession in some of the movie’s scenes.

There are also several films about the crisis —  with foreboding names like “Smoke and Mirrors” — coming to theaters soon. One upcoming project stars actress Reese Witherspoon, who is trying to put a “Legally Blonde” spin on the financial crisis, according to Stanley. 

“The character she plays is fighting sexism on one hand but she’s also selling mortgage backed securities on the other,” Stanley said.

But there’s one thing audiences might want to see most on screen in this post recession era.

“I think we want [the recession] dramatized,” Stanley said.

Click the audio player above to listen to the full interview.

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