Money Monster review: Has Jodie seen Mr Robot?

1:31:00 AM



Money MOnster review
What is it about: Money Monster directed by Jodie Foster is a classic hostage story. The victim is Lee Gates (George Cloooney), a flashy host of a financial-advice tv-show, a stocks guru. The desperate hostage taker is Kyle Budwell (Jack O' Connol), who after following Lee's stock tip, lost his money.
The ultra villain is the CEO of Ibis Clear Capital a company who's stock tanked and lost 800 million,  through a glitch. He is played by Domenic West (if you watch the Affair, you only need a glimpse of Walt to know the guy is sketchy, quite the effective casting.) And the negotiator is Lee's producer, Patty (Julia Roberts) who tries to diffuse the situation communicating through Lee's earpiece.

How is it: I listen to The Nerdist pod cats with Jodie Foster ( if you haven't it is quite revelatory and very cool). At one point Jodie tells about her ambivalence about playing Sarah Tobias in The Accused. Jodie said that she struggled with this character, suggesting that she didn't like Sarah, and was judging her. But Jodie's instinct took over and told her how to play Sarah, of course winning her first Oscar, and giving us one hell of a great woman to root for. Throughout the whole interview the same struggle of her personality and intellect against her instinct is evident. Jodie's applies her vast intellectual capacities trying to cope with the life and talent she was threw in,  as a small kid. Having these two enormous strengths, having graduated from Yale, loving ideas, and an otherworldly sense of inhibiting characters, which one do you choose. Intellect or instinct, which one is better?
I talk about this because I couldn't get it out of my head while watching Money Monster. Money Monster is a thriller. But, but, it places this idea in front of you,  the rich getting richer, the 1% conning the rest, etc. And this is a bit problematic. I also listened to the Nerdist pod cats with Rob Reiner last week. He was talking about his love for thrillers, Misery and finding an idea for a movie and moulding it into a thriller.
Moulding an idea into a thriller to make it more palatable, is what Money Monster does. You feel it while watching it, the writers and Jodie where interested in the idea of corruption, of the stock market being skewed in favor of the rich, of this illusion created so normal people invest and loose money.

But when you mould an idea into a thriller, what do you get? A good thriller, or just a vehicle, an easy digestible idea? Money Monster is well crafted, the camerawork and editing is excellent, it has rhythm, holds the attention, and has some excellent moments. One of them, I loved, when the girlfriend of the hostage taker gets to talk him out and we get a rant that reminded me of Brooke Smith, the kidnapped girl in the Silence of the lambs.
But. It is a little too forced. In the podcast Jodie admitted that even if she is very interested by ideas, she has no clue what is going on NOW. She doesn't know what is going on on social media, what is going on in popular culture and she doesn't know what tv-shows people watch NOW. Her words.
Wallstreet, the 1%, the collapse of the illusion that people can get rich by investing, is one of the main subjects of these last years, and a tremendous amount of articles, propaganda, discussion, political debate, is floating around it. It is hard to capture a subject when people are so aware of it. Look at Oliver Stone's Wallstreet, it was made when people still thought greed was good, when yuppies ruled, so that movie made an impact, it went upstream.
One of my favorite tv-show of last year, and I can't wait to return to it this summer was Mr Robot. I guess Jodie hasn't seen it. I wonder if she would have made Money Monster if she did. If she would have revised it. The way she approached this subject is just not fresh enough.
George Clooney is as always watchable, Julia Roberts is cruising on her charm, but could have been a little less in control (it is not so scary when the observer in the movie isn't scared).
Mr Robot season 2


Like the Lee Gates show of the same name Money Monster is slick, fast, and entertaining, but it lacks a finger on the pulse. When choosing between intellect and instinct, choose instinct. When you are as talented as Jodie is, it will give you the best results.

You Might Also Like

0 comments