Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Can a movie be watchable and a mess all at once? Because at no time during Money Never Sleeps was I bored or not entertained but at the same time I can’t tell you it’s a good movie. What I can say is that there’s no sense to it, and it’s deeply flawed, and the ending is bullsh-t, and the character development is inconsistent, and it felt rushed with too much sh-t jammed into too little time.
Finance to those who don’t work in finance is terribly abstract. Or I’m too stupid. And while I didn’t expect to be educated about it by Oliver Stone, the problem is that since all the relationships in this film are fractured by finance-related betrayals, it’s hard to become emotionally invested if you don’t understand what the f-ck it is that they’re fighting about. And they’re fighting with everyone. Shia LaBeouf is fighting with Josh Brolin. Josh Brolin is fighting with Michael Douglas. Michael Douglas is fighting with Carey Mulligan. He’s also fighting with Shia. Then Shia and Michael fight Josh. After that Shia and Michael fight each other because Carey wants to fight both of them. And there’s a moral to the story. Consumerism is bad. What? Like I said, it’s a mess. But a nice looking one. Slick shots, great clothes, great performances.
Michael Douglas is formidable. Carey cries a lot and she does it well. Shia cries too and I adore him for it. He is intensely compelling onscreen. I get it why the Spielbergs and the Stones and the Bays, why they’ve all decided he’s worthy on a variety of levels. But big ups to Josh Brolin. Because he’s been seriously underrated. And he’s amazingly skilled. Even though he’s probably a cheater, professionally his talent is undeniable. It’s time for him to take it to the next level.
So while the actors do their best to move the story along, the key complaint for me is how the characters are moved along in direction. There is some serious overacting that’s been asked of them. And much of it comes out of nowhere or from grossly exaggerated tension. Particularly between Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf. We are supposed to believe they change. And then we are supposed to doubt that there’s been a change. And then by the end we’re supposed to believe in it again, even though there’s been no justification for the behaviour that compromised their integrity. It’s not supposed to matter that none of what happens in the middle adds up. Because the actors have just shown you every emotion in their toolbox even though there’s no anchor for it, almost as though Oliver Stone was shouting out instructions without a script – now I want you to act angry, then laugh and be happy, then give me a devastation face, doesn’t matter if you don’t have a reason to! I don’t want to give away what happens but by the end, after a thousand twists and turns, suddenly Hollywood appeared and masturbated all over the last two minutes.
Money Never Sleeps isn’t bad. It isn’t boring. It isn’t silly, it might be too smart, but at the same time, right now, it’s not very sensible. Oliver Stone has 4 months to cut it before theatrical release which is encouraging except for the fact that everyone in Cannes kissed his ass, almost as though were they were glamourised by him and the cast. Not sure if he’s still inclined to fix it now.
Photos from Wenn.com and Flynetonline.com and ANNE-CHRISTINE/FRANCOIS GUILLOT/Pascal Le Segretain/Gettyimages.com