‘Greed’ a romp through the abuses of the rich and infamous – SaportaReport

Posted: March 4, 2020 at 12:59 pm

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By Eleanor Ringel Cater

You could say Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed isnt just good.

Its hilarious and ultimately quite sobering.

Steve Coogan stars as the aptly-named Sir Richard McReadie (tabloid-dubbed McGreedy), a vain, selfish, manipulative fashion tycoon who made his fortune thanks to questionable wheeling-dealing and sweatshops in Sri Lanka.

A scene from Greed

When we meet him, hes preparing for his 60thbirthday bash an obscenely gaudy Gladiator themed party on Mykonos. Therell be togas, orgies, celebrity look-alikes, even a slightly mangy lion named Clarence.

For entertainment, Elton John, if they can afford him; Tom Jones if not. It must be costing a fortune, notes his tough-minded Irish ma (Shirley Henderson).

It is, he replies. Thats the whole point.

Interspersed among the lavish preparations (whatare they to do about the unsightly Syrian refugees ruining the beach view) is a brief history of the birthday boys rise from privileged twit to obnoxious zillionaire. Through the eyes of his bearded biographer (David Mitchell), a man whod be much more comfortable writing about George Bernard Shaw, we see how McReadie turned failure into triumph as he bullied his way through bankruptcy and bad press to the top of the rag trade.

Yet its not all fun and games.

A Triangle Factory-type fire in Asia will have repercussions down the road. And McReadies personal life is in shambles. His smart, sexy ex-wife (Isla Fisher) seems to have things in hand (her own mega-yacht anchored in Monaco). But their daughter is a bargain-basement Kardashian (oxymoron?) with her own reality show, The Young, the Rich and the Beautiful. Their son is a run-of-the-mill druggie-wastrel who, nonetheless, will have a considerable impact on Daddys big day.

Greed poster

Coogan, with his too-white teeth and too-coifed windblown hair, is marvelous, as is everybody in the eclectic supporting cast. Granted, the movie isnt especially subtle; nor does it try to be. Its more like a romp through the abuses of the rich and infamous, with a whiplash turn-around at the end.

Director Michael Winterbottom long ago established his political bonafides with the superb Welcome to Sarajevo, as well as his sympatico relationship with Coogan in the equally marvelous Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.

Together, the pair might be a little too goofy, a little too mutually enamored. But as I said, Greed, much as it bounces merrily about, also has bite. And you have to have a certain respect for a film that tries so hard to do the work for you.

Sometimes, obvious and over-the-top is just whats needed.

Greed will open this Friday, March 6 at the Landmarks Midtown Art Cinema.

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March 4th, 2020 at 12:59 pm

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