Michael Winterbottom directs Steve Coogan, David Mitchell and Isla Fisher in this satire (in all but spoken name) of disgraced high street fashion tycoon / sweatshop racketeer Philip Green.
Greed is the kinda film you really want to like. The talent and pedigree are strong – you know everyone’s heart is in the right place and they are capably trying their best. There are just enough funny, barbed moments to fill a trailer. You completely agree with its politics. But it has nothing revelatory to say and the ensemble drift about hoping for better material. You wish it landed twice or four times as many laughs. There’s a real feel of Altman’s Nashville or, perhaps damningly, Pret-A-Porter, where a mass of vapid people hang about an overhyped event. One of those is considered a classic, the other a bomb. I personally can’t tell their qualities apart but they are mirrored here. Or maybe if Winterbottom and Sony didn’t end it all on stats about inequitable wealth within the global garment trade that will shock absolutely no one. The only punch that really lands is a subtle one where a composite character ends up working back at a sewing machine in the UK. I assume the unexplained point is with workers rights and financial safety nets being eroded here after Brexit and a decade of Tory leadership, we are set to become a dystopia for the sweatshop conditions and poor pay lambasted within. Listen, any comedy with Coogan and Fisher featured prominently is going to be worth a peek. They are gifted comic actors both overskilled in portraying society monsters. And the lad who plays a young Coogan, Jamie Blackley, convinces utterly as a young Coogan. Shame the script feels like a raggedy first draft rather than a made-to-measure product.
Check out my wife Natalie’s Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk
We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/