Sunday, 18 March 2018

Financial drama is a cold, hard smash

COULD the tense, real-time thriller Money Monster — reflecting the greed and cut-throat rutlessness of the

COULD the tense, real-time thriller Money Monster — reflecting the greed and cut-throat rutlessness of the financial world — be the best film of Jodie Foster’s directing career?

The double Academy Award winner, best known for her leading roles in The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs has moved behind the camera in recent years, with films such as Home for the Holidays and The Beaver.

She also directed two episodes of the top-rated TV series Orange is the New Black and one episode of House of Cards, both of which can be viewed on streaming service Netflix.

But with Money Monster she could have found a recipe for even greater success. The film stars Sonning resident George Clooney as Wall Street TV presenter Lee Gates.

After bomb-toting hijacker Kyle Budwell, a disgruntled investor, invades his set mid-broadcast, Gates and his producer Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) have to act fast to keep themselves alive while also trying to uncover the mystery behind a tangle of immense money lies. Clooney and Roberts are no strangers to working together, having previously appeared as estranged husband and wife Danny and Tess Ocean in Ocean’s Twelve, and Clooney was reportedly instrumental in getting Roberts on board for this project.

Incidentally, Foster was one of the names in contention for the part of Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman — Roberts’ most iconic role.

British actor Jack O’Connell plays Budwell, belying his Derbyshire roots with a thick American drawl.

His early life struggles have not put obstacles on his pathway to success. At 16, O’Connell left school with two GCSEs, a B in drama and a C in English. In the years following, O’Connell spent his nights on the street, unable to afford a hotel. Moving from Derby to Hounslow in west London, he worked as a farmhand in Cobham in between acting parts.

He now boasts a résumé that includes parts in blockbuster 300: Rise of an Empire and alongside Sir Michael Caine in Harry Brown.

With a dream cast that also includes The Wire’s Dominic West, Irish actress Caitriona Balfe and Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, Money Monster looks set to be a hit and Foster’s efforts as a director will be soon recognised.

The film is showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse from today (Friday).

Review: Neda Konova

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