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quarta-feira, 1 de junho de 2016

Didn't understand The Big Short? Then Money Monster is for you - review


Director: Jodie Foster; Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Caitriona Balfe, Dominic West. 15 cert, 99 mins.
If The Big Short and Margin Call left you no wiser about the murky complexities of the financial crisis, Money Monster is for you. The newfilm directed by Jodie Foster is a raucous hostage thriller that eschews explanation for wish-fulfillment: it allows a beaten-down schmuck to literally hold a gun to the head of a banker who wiped out his savings at a stroke.
Foster's film is a critique of the shallowness of modern financial journalism and the slipperiness of the traders it fails to hold to account that is itself proudly shallow and slippery – less a recession-era Network than Speed in a TV studio, gliding from title to credits as slickly as a greased kipper across the surface of an ice rink.
George Clooney in Money Monster
George Clooney stars as Lee Gates, the smarm-dunked host of a daily financial newscast whose gangsta-of-the-Nasdaq, get-rich-quick schtick panders to his audience’s crassest instincts. So when a disgruntled viewer, Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell), invades the studio with a handgun and a bomb vest, demanding answers about a $60,000 venture that vanished overnight, it makes a grim kind of sense that the show’s director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) orders the cameras to keep rolling.
Except Patty isn’t spurred on by scandal. She’s recently handed in her notice for a more respectable, less glamourous job elsewhere, but quickly twigs that a gun to the head might be exactly what TV news needs. With her host’s life in the balance, a live investigation into what actually happened to poor Kyle’s money can begin.
George Clooney in Money Monster
It’s immediately clear that Kyle is a sap and a hothead, but also a patsy. As recommended by Lee, the investment should have been sound, and it’s the system itself, rigged in favour of the one percent, that’s ultimately to blame.
Enter screen right, from the steps of a Learjet, Dominic West’s iron-grinned hedge fund manager, who’s been off-grid since his company lost the $800 million stake in South African steel which contained Kyle’s savings, and has left his PR manager Diane Lester (Outlanderstar Caitriona Balfe) to offer corporate platitudes in his absence.
Over a Tony Scott-like hailstorm of statistics and bar charts, the film begins with a warning from Lee to his viewers that’s also presumably also intended as a shot across our bow. “Are you listening?” he barks. “Are you paying attention out there? Because it’s about to get complicated.” Except it really isn’t: Money Monster is very straightforward, shaking every last twist out of its sleeves in the opening few scenes.

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