Money Monster (2016)
Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Denham
Directed by: Jodie Foster
Written by: Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf
Rating: R Running Time: 1 hr. 38 min
On quite a few levels, there’s a lot wrong with Money Monster. For one, if we look beyond the characters in this story, the film sets itself up to be too easily dismissed by the conservative “thinkers” of this world, and the unapologetic followers of right-wing propaganda, delivered by the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.
This is a movie made by a bunch of wealthy Hollywood elites and that lesbian director Jodie Foster after all. It also stars George Clooney, who recently held a fund-raising event for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the DNC at a cost of $353,000 per couple. The fact that there are people out there willing to spend that much money to have dinner with Hillary and Clooney, while I spend the next 28 years paying off my student loans—even rubs me the wrong way. And I ultimately support a left of center progressive more inclusive policy agenda.
The film also doesn’t do itself any favors by blurring the line between rightful activism and terrorist action, which makes it harder (though not impossible thanks to Jack O’Connell’s convincing performance) to sympathize with the story’s main protagonist Carl. The struggling blue-collar representative of the 99%, as he does battle against the 1% to get to the truth behind a supposed stock market “glitch” that ultimately cost him, and many others, thousands of dollars. Being that the story’s moments of victory over the wealthy are also achieved under extreme duress, ultimately hurts the credibility of this film.
That being said, I enjoyed Money Monster a lot, regardless of the clear bias in the story (or maybe because of it). This is a well-directed and well-acted representation of people’s frustrations with Wall Street and their government enablers. It delivers its message efficiently and effectively, but more importantly, it keeps the subject of income inequality front and center of our national debate.
Your enjoyment of this film is going to depend on your political leanings, and if you consider yourself a conservative, I doubt this film has anything to offer you. If Bernie Sanders appeared after the credits (Marvel style) and said “I approve this message.” I wouldn’t have been shocked.
Best Moment: << spoiler >>
The police investigating Carl, find out he has a pregnant girlfriend. She is brought to the studio to talk to Carl, and perhaps get Carl to surrender to the authorities. This plan backfires when she lays into Carl with a barrage of insults to his intelligence, and manhood!