Mockumentary of a rich buffoon and satirical exposé about the garment industry collide in Greed, the latest from director Michael Winterbottom and UK comedy superstar Steve Coogan.
In the past, Winterbottom and Coogan have collaborated on The Trip movies, improvisational larks that combine the separate appeals of food porn and Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon doing dueling Michael Caine impressions. The Trip movies which are actually shows in the UK essentially define escapist comedy, and two pompous comedians driving through picturesque European towns while riffing on Alanis Morisette is basically my happy place.
In Greed, Winterbottom and Coogan attempt something with a much higher degree of difficulty Rob Brydon being left out of this one is a perfect Rob Brydon bit. Coogan plays Sir Richard “Greedy” McCreadie, “the King of High Street,” a deeply tanned billionaire with flouncy hair and massive capped teeth whose look weirdly mirrors that of Wayne Diamond from Uncut Gems who also made his money in the garment industry, even though Winterbottom and Coogan couldn't possibly have seen Uncut Gems in time. Their McCreadie is said to be based heavily on Philip Green, with some other billionaires thrown in. The film takes the form of a present-day mockumentary set on the Greek island of Mykonos, where McCreadie is planning his lavish, Roman gladiator-themed 60th birthday party complete with lions and togas, and his biographer, Nick David Mitchell is interviewing McCreadie associates for his book.
Greed intercuts flashbacks to McCreadie's adolescence and his rise as a business tycoon inspired by Nick's interviews with the present-day send-up of McCreadie's birthday party. As if that weren't a difficult enough balancing act, there's also the tonal contrast, between the satirical take on McCreadie's present-day life — which includes a friendly ex-wife played by Isla Fisher who has brought along her Eurotrash boy toy, McCreadie's grumbling Irish mother Shirley Henderson, and his daughter filming a Laguna Beach-esque “reality” show — and an oddly earnest exposé.
Greed feels a bit like Winterbottom trying to mix The Trip with a kind of garment industry Syriana, told in the style of Adam McKay. Tongue-in-cheek lampooning of McCreadie, a fictional unscrupulous money monster, mixes somewhat uneasily with earnest infographics about the lives of garment workers and how little they're paid vs. how much the models and brand ambassadors earn. It's always hard to be simultaneously didactic and sarcastic something McKay also struggled with in Vice, but in some ways the dichotomy makes sense: the absurd comedy of the lives of the uber rich always rests on a foundation of genuinely tragic exploitation of the low wage workers who make it possible.
Coogan is an all-time comedy great and Greed is...
EXCLUSIVE: Spectrum Originals is developing Tinseltown, a period drama series based on William J Mann's 2014 bestselling book Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, And Madness At The Dawn of Hollywood. The project hails from Mann, The Son executive producer Kevin Murphy, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, Tracy Katsky’s KatCo and Paramount Television Studios.
Co-written by Murphy and Mann, Tinseltown is set against the seamy, glamorous backdrop of silent film era. It explores the lives of four pioneer women filmmakers whose lives and livelihoods were threatened by a scandalous murder and the brutal patriarchy of Hollywood's nascent studio system.
What the description refers to is the famously unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association.
“The show centers on four accomplished women filmmakers who get dragged into the grotesque media circus surrounding a murder,” Murphy said. “Their careers are upended and they find themselves pushed out of the burgeoning Hollywood studio system, a system Paramount founder Adolph Zukor has been building by strong-arming independent producers and exhibitors ravaged by the Spanish Flu shutdown.”
If the project goes to series, it will launch on the heels of a global pandemic, the current coronavirus crisis. That would mirror the setting of Tinseltown, which takes place in the early 1920s, immediately after the Spanish Flu pandemic.
There are also other aspects that make Tinseltown timely. Some refer to the events in the book - and its adaptation - as the origin story of the #MeToo movement.
“I believe this is a story about women in Hollywood and the resiliency of women in Hollywood,” Mann said. “We wonder how we got to where we are today, well, this is the origin story of so much.”
Kapital and KatCo acquired the rights to Mann’s book in 2014 in a competitive situation. Kaplan and Murphy had been talking about doing a project together for 7-8 years but Murphy never sparked to an idea until Kaplan sent him a copy of Mann’s Tinseltown. Murphy was coming off AMC’s The Son, starring Pierce Brosnan, which also included historical elements, and immediately jumped on it.
Murphy and Mann executive produce alongside Kapital’s Kaplan and Dana Honor and KatCo’s Katsky.
Mann, repped by APA, is a well known Hollywood chronicler who has previously written Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn; How to Be A Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor In Hollywood; Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand; and Wisecracker: The Life And Times Of William Haines.
Desperate Housewives and Caprica alum Murphy created/executive produced the series Valentine and Hellcats...
Welcome to The Clock Tower, where we’ll break down the goings on of the The CW network’s Arrowverse. We’ll touch on things like themes, cultural impact, lead-ins to major events, ships, and more every week! Warning: this Clock Tower is filled with spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.
So the world’s falling apart and you’ve turned to your superhero stories for comfort! Welcome! This week tackled a bunch of “fun” topics like murder, transphobia, and prematurely saying goodbye to longtime friends because contracts were about to expire and networks felt the need to write them off. Fun stuff! By and large, everyone did a solid job. The Flash is the only series that’s currently struggling a bit in the narrative department, but I think they ultimately have a point. Let’s dive in!The Farewell
One of my first pieces here at /Film was an article lamenting what Legends of Tomorrow would lose by saying goodbye to Ray Palmer and Nora Darhk. One is a constant beacon of hope and optimism, even in the darkest of times, the other a symbol insisting that your trauma doesn’t get to define you. The idea of losing them has been heart-wrenching since it was announced.
While the writers did their best to give a good reason for the departure and a solid farewell episode, it did little to make the farewell any easier. Obviously, the most difficult part of this story was always going to be seeing Ray say goodbye to Nate.
The SteelAtom friendship is, to this day, one of the best on-screen depictions of male friendship I’ve ever seen. There’s not an ounce of toxicity to it. It’s just bros being bros doing bro stuff all the while loving each other as fiercely as all men should be allowed to.
We all watched the same show, I’m not going to recap their goodbye. We all saw it, most of us ugly cried. It sucked. I will miss Ray and Nora forever.Dream on Dreamer
No I’m not sorry for getting Cascada stuck in your head. This week’s episode of Supergirl finally buckled down and gave us some Dreamer content. While it was worth the wait, let’s not go another half season without giving the gal something to do, yeah?
Nia decides to take things into her own hands after a transphobic creep starts targeting trans women to get to Dreamer. He doesn’t think that she’s the right kind of symbol for his “good” and “right” community. When you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes, and Mr. “Good” – no, his character name wasn’t even worth remembering – played a real, real stupid game.
We fittingly see Dreamer angrier than we’ve ever seen her in the past. There is a plague trying to wipe out her community, and she’s going to eradicate that plague no matter how hard Kara pleads with her to let a system that’s consistently failed her and her trans brothers and...