2019 TIFF Movie Review: GREED (UK 2019)

Greed Poster
Satire about the world of the super-rich.


Michael Winterbottom (screenplay), Sean Gray (additional material by)

Director Michael Winterbottom (THE TRIP, WONDERLAND, and his best film JUDE) and Steve Coogan have worked together many times and they seem too comfortable in this latest offering that tackles too many subjects. 

 The fashion industry, celerities biographies, Bangladesh garment manufacturing, the Greek commercial collapse, refugees are all targets that Winterbottom cannot decide which he should deem the most important.  His film is centred on a court inquiry of a retail fashion billionaire Sir Richard MCreadie (Coogan) nicknamed Greedy for short.

  His ex-wife (Isla Fisher) and dutiful subordinate (Sarah Solemani) aid him on the way.  While all this is going on, biographer (David Mitchell) puts in his two cents worth, but turns out more annoying than funny. 

GREED is indulged in expensive looking production sets and exotics locations and appears to be going against all the film is supposed to be fighting against.  Coogan prances around in this role like a wealthy peacock.  The entire result is less than impressive, like the amphitheatre being built by the refugees.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NNZHlIoA4U


Film Review: THE TRIP TO SPAIN (UK 2017) ***

THE TRIP TO SPAIN.jpgSteve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on a six-part episodic road trip through Spain, sampling the restaurants, eateries, and sights along the way.

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Stars: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Marta Barrio

Review by Gilbert Seah

More of the same. The third entry of the food critics trips after THE TRIP TO ITALY and THE TRIP (that one set in the U.K.) provides fans of the trilogy what is expected from director Michael Winterbottom and actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Besides delicious mouth-watering gourmet delights with landscapes and stunning scenery on display, audiences will be treated with the usual comedic banter between the two actors complete with their impressions that they are famous for. Winterbottom (his best works being JUDE and COCK AND BULL STORY) takes it easy for the light comedy. Coogan looks much fitter and slimmer than his first THE TRIP film, his working out and jogging clearly noticeable.
Coogan and Brydon play themselves in the three TRIP movies.

One difference is that the two travel by luxury ferry to Spain. Steve gets sea-sick on the trip while Rob always ends up doing better.

As food food on display in this film, there is much less emphasis on food compared to the other two films. As for impressions, their famous Michael Caine and James Bond impressions are again present for good cheer, to make sure fans are not disappointed. There is a bonus of them doing Mick Jagger doing Bond impressions.

Something new in this trip is the first rendering of a song by Coogan with a bit of commentary from Brydon. The Oscar Winning song “The Windmills of Your Mind” is crooned by Coogan followed by the trivia question asked of the original singer of the song. (Answer is Noel Harrison, son of Rex Harrison).

After the culinary trip to Italy has ended, director Winterbottom turns on his serious tone, as he did in his other two films. Rob returns to his family of wife and two children, playing around with them like a godfather does. Steve on the other hand, discovers the girlfriend that he has suddenly fallen in love with, pregnant with baby from someone else. The seriousness is totally out of sync with the rest of the film. Steve landing stranded in the desert with an even odd development after is even weirder. The film would have been better enign with the ending of their trip to Spain.

THE TRIP TO SPAIN is interesting enough to keep those who liked the first two films satisfied. New converts would be difficult.

What next? The most obvious is a TRIP TO FRANCE. But fans may grow tired by then. Too much more of the same.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTvy8ab1NSo


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