An older couple sitting in front of me at the theater immediately said, as the credit for Michael Winterbottom’s Greed’ went up, ‘This is the Bernie Sanders movie,’ and that brought me pause. I steer clear of anything Sanders related, primarily because of his toxic supporters, but I have to give it to him that his messaging is really reaching where it needs to reach. No wonder his supporters are so passionate – these are the disenfranchised people who feel that the establishment has not served them well.
But this post is about ‘Greed,’ the film. The film skewers the rich, specifically those self-made billionaires who make deals that only benefit themselves. They buy businesses only to run them to the ground after siphoning all its assets (Some people have compared the story to Sir Phillip Green, the owner of TopShop) Steve Coogan plays Sir Richard McCreadie, and the film is a pseudo-documentary of his life, framed by the preparation of his 60th birthday party to be held in Mykonos. There are a lot of things going on here, and a couple of moving targets – the rich who hide their assets in Mykonos – entertainers who get millions of dollars to perform for these rich folks – and there’s even a commentary regarding the Syrian refugees in Greece. At times it felt a bit too much, and over the top, but I found myself laughing at a lot of it. Coogan is great as McCreadie, though he has played this kind of role before. Isla Fisher as his ex-wife is great as well, showing us her comedic chops. The messages could be a bit heavy handed, but they are meaningful and should be taken seriously so it’s all fine by me. I won’t quote Gordon Gekko at all in here, but this film is, as he says, good.