HBO’s much-hyped Bernie Madoff movie—the one that starred Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, not Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner—premiered over the weekend. While it did very little to help me understand exactly how Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme actually worked, Wizard of Lies is an expectedly slick-looking biopic that reminds its audience just how much tragedy was left in Madoff’s wake.
Unfortunately, Barry Levinson’s film suffers from a problem that afflicts most HBO original movies: it starts strong, but sort of sputters its way through the second half. I suppose I’m glad this wasn’t drawn out into a four- or five-hour miniseries, but even the current runtime of two hours and 15 minutes feels a little long. So I cut it down for your viewing pleasure. Now you can take in the full story of Bernie Madoff’s downfall in just 109 seconds. Enjoy!