Five films for the festive season

Festive films
By Ellen Arnison, Student Blog

12 December 2016

It’s the season of goodwill and peace to all people, but we also know it’s the season of snuggling on the sofa in a onesie with a box of sugar-overload and a good movie. Here’s our pick of films for festive trainee CAs looking to wind-down over the festive period.

5. The Big Short

The film uses wit and clever analogies delivered by cameo performances to explain, among other things, collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), derivatives, subprime mortgages and synthetic bonds. There has never been an easier way to learn about high finance and the 2008 crash. Probably best enjoyed with a glass of bubbly.

4. Money Monster

An action thriller where George Clooney and Julia Roberts run around and financial ethics takes a starring role. Clooney plays a TV star who fronts a money advice show, but it all starts to unravel when he recommends shares which promptly crash. All kinds of mayhem ensue; there’s so much drama that you might need a short nap afterwards.

3. The Accountant

If you like your accountants skilled in deadly hand-to-hand combat, then this is the one for you. In The Accountant, Ben Affleck plays the money man for one of the world’s most dangerous gangs. All is (criminally) straightforward until he takes on a legitimate client to give his operation the appearances of being ‘above board’. You could say that this movie has a bit of everything – financial thriller, action-drama and romance all rolled into one. Probably good viewing while you eat your turkey curry.

2. It’s A Wonderful Life

At its heart, this Christmas classic is all about money. Hero George Bailey runs a savings and loan business and tries to use money to good effect throughout his life. There’s a run on the bank and George is forced to use his savings to shore up his family business, but all seems lost when a large deposit goes missing. Cue a journey into a parallel world where the true value money – and his own life - is discovered. It’s a heart-warming pile of festive feel-good too. Best served with mulled wine and mince pies.

1. A Christmas Carol

In Charles Dicken’s tale of miserliness and redemption, Ebenezer Scrooge is a money lender served by accounting clerk, Bob Cratchit; Scrooge hates Christmas and spends most of his Christmas Eve locked in a ghostly nightmare. 

There have been dozens of versions of the story made for big and small screen, but many people think the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim is a work of perfection; blending humour, horror and nuanced performances.

If you prefer technicolour to monochrome, 1988’s Scrooged, starring Bill Murray, will be up your street. It’s certainly non-traditional, but it hits all the key points before getting to the happy ending. Enjoy your Christmas Carol with a big bowl of tangerines!

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