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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 June 2016

Film: Money Monster

Engaging attack on finance capitalism and the capitalist media

Money Monster (2016), directed by Jodie Foster

Money Monster (2016), directed by Jodie Foster   (Click to enlarge)

George Bailey

Boxing similes abound in Jodie Foster's 'Money Monster', and ultimately it pulls its punches.

Nevertheless, for a major Hollywood film it is a pretty devastating exposť of capitalism. Particularly the corruption of finance capitalism, and the continuing decline of serious journalism that allows it to go unchallenged.

It is tragic, comic, frantic and farcical in equal measure and has a flow that keeps the audience gripped and engaged.

The storyline follows cynical, self-serving TV presenter Lee Gates (George Clooney). He presents the 'infotainment' programme Money Monster - an over-the-top financial puff show for big corporations and his own ego.

As it gets underway, Gates is taken hostage by Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell). He has lost $60,000 on one of the show's share tips, on behalf of the Ibis corporation. His financial loss, and that of thousands of others, followed an instantaneous 'loss' of $800 million through a computer "glitch" (look out for that word, it crops up a lot in the film).

He then makes a desperate bid to get to the truth of how his and other investors' money was lost. He ends up finally getting the answers, but with a tragic conclusion.

In between, we see how so-called news organisations and former 'serious' reporters have ditched any pretence of integrity in covering news to become mouthpieces of big business. We also get a hard-hitting exposure of the incredible corruption and disregard for 'legality' of one wing of modern capitalism.

We see also how the unfolding events themselves become a piece of live TV theatre which grips an international audience - reminiscent of the OJ Simpson car chase - but which immediately becomes personalised and trivialised by the media's coverage.

The film has strong performances from Clooney, O'Connell, and Julia Roberts as Patty Fenn, the show's director who has marginally retained some pretence of being a credible investigative journalist.

I never expect to come away from a Hollywood film pleasantly surprised that it has called for the overthrow of capitalism - and Money Monster didn't do that.

But I think anyone who is outraged and wants to take action will feel, having seeing the film, it did a good job of exposing capitalism and the decline of investigative journalism.

Definitely worth seeing.

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In The Socialist 1 June 2016:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Shatter the Tories: vote out

Motion passed for no-cuts council budgets

Jobseekers told: take three-hour commute

Public asset sales will lose us money

Stop Ryedale fracking

Blairite baloney

Khan air

Library lie

Them & Us


Tories out to knife the BBC


France: struggle against government intensifies

France 1936: sit-in strikes

Fighting austerity: French strikes show the way

What we think

Tories tearing themselves apart over EU referendum: vote leave to get Cameron out

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS conference takes serious approach to key political and industrial questions

Could it be 3 strikes and you're out at 2 Sisters?

Welsh Government under attack at Wales TUC conference...and museum strikers close to victory

University lecturers strike for fair pay

Thomas Cook cabin crew to strike over breaks

BIS office closure: Anger and determination to fight on

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Property speculators target Butterfields tenants

Pent Valley campaigners take council to judicial review

George Tomlinson school: Academy fears

Birmingham Labour council takes credit for Tory privatisation

Peterborough PFI palaver

Get a copy of the Socialist from a workplace near you!

International socialist news and analysis

Solidarity with protesters in Kazakhstan

Portugal: Lisbon dockers' victory

Socialist Party comments and reviews

Film: Money Monster

Obituary: Simon Gomery 1968-2016

Letter: Parcel farce


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