The Hummingbird Project
True North | Galas
Having previously transported us to the heart of a war zone with the Oscar-nominated Rebelle, Kim Nguyen now immerses us in even more hostile territory: the world of high-frequency stock trading.
Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård play Vincent and Anton Zalesky,respectively, working-class cousins who are intent on creating a 1,000-mile-long fibre-optic cable that’ll allow them to shave a millisecond (or "one flap of a hummingbird’s wing") off of New York Stock Exchange transactions. This seemingly slight competitive advantage could easily result in millions in additional profits. While Anton is undoubtedly the brains of the operation, Vincent is the mouth, making rash promises and enemies with equal frequency. The gob-smacking scale of their project ensures that it’s beset by myriad challenges. But the geographic obstacles impeding their progress can’t hold a candle to the wrath of their outraged former boss (Salma Hayek, having a field day as a villainess) who’s made their personal and professional ruin her top priority.
While Nguyen’s sharply written drama has much to say about technology’s penchant for making us more distant and isolated, it’s also a wildly entertaining affair that comes by its comparisons to The Social Network honestly and frequently flirts with becoming an outright caper flick in the vein of an Ocean’s film. Ultimately a cautionary tale about ambition running afoul of reality, The Hummingbird Project wings its way to a poignant, poetic close.