Buried in one of this season’s biggest blockbusters, The big courtis a fun little cameo by a guy you might recognize: Antoine Bourdain. The dramedy – which was released just before Christmas and stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt – is based on Michael Lewis’s 2008 book on the financial crisis. , Bourdain explains Collateralized Debt Obligations, or CDOs, as a way to repackage leftovers for sale. It was writer and director Adam McKay who decided to use a chef’s tip to describe the financial instruments that caused the Great Recession.
It looks like this: a chef buys fish on Fridays. Two days later, it can’t be sold as is, it’s now too old and smelly, “So what am I going to do?” Bourdain asks, rhetorically, “Throw all that unsold fish in the trash and take the loss? No way. Whatever shitty levels of the bond I’m not selling, I throw in the seafood stew. [Now] it’s not old fish, it’s a brand new thing.” (This, by the way, also explains a lot of restaurant menu items.)
Although the film didn’t win any Golden Globes last weekend, The big court could still win an Oscar or two next month. Sadly, Bourdain’s masterful work wasn’t nominated for any awards, but here it is in all its glory.