Although the Cannes film festival is heralded as a celebrated arena to showcase the best in original and new world cinema talent, there is definitely room for sequels at the most famous fest on the circuit: this year there is even one lined up in the competition (Nikita Mikhalkov's Soviet WWII epic 'Burnt By The Sun 2: Exodus'), so what better a place to present the intriguing return of one of the most compelling character creations in recent cinematic history?
Some time during the festival's run, Gordon Gekko will once more cast his considerable shadow over cinema audiences, and we will be amongst the first people to see it at Cannes' Palais des Festivals. I for one am ridiculously excited at the prospect. Set immediately following the release of Douglas' Gekko from prison, Money Never Sleeps will offer a whole new perspective on the former "greed is good" mogul; even presenting him as a redeemed character. The main question on everyone's lips will no doubt be whether Gekko really is reformed, or whether he is using his idealistic younger new protege, played by Moore, for his own mysterious ends. The plot, as we originally reported it in January, makes for intriguing reading:
The film will center on young Jacob Moore (Shia Labeouf) who acquires the assistance of former Wall Street mogul Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) who happens to be the estranged father of his girlfriend Winnie (Carey Mulligan) in trying to bring down hedge fund manager Bretton Woods (Josh Brolin) who he blames for the suspicious death of of his mentor (Frank Langella). Susan Sarandon co-stars as Moores mother while Charlie Sheen returns in a small cameo as Bud Fox.
The film looks to be a winner, and could well now be a strong contender for next year's Oscars, and will be helped by the new release date of September. Although out of competition, this year's festival may well be all about Gordon Gekko, and you'd have to suspect he would be more than happy with that.
Reasons to be Excited
- Gordon Gekko. The most important character return since Harrison Ford dusted off his whip, and a considerably more welcome prospect by all accounts.
- The promise of proof that Oliver Stone is still capable of making a film that isnt uncomfortably self-serving and self-indulgent. The controversial subject matter remains, though the financial crisis and the culpability of hedge row managers and high powered bankers is a considerably less testing topic than he has become infamous for. There are only so many political commentaries one can stomach, and Stone can hopefully get back to the kind of characterisation that made the original 'Wall Street' and 'Natural Born Killers' such seminal works.
- The wider cast: while Michael Douglas is undoubtedly the main focus of the movie (as was the way of the original), you have to suspect that he wont have it all his own way this time around considering who he is sharing the screen. Say what you want about Shia LaBeouf, but he is big business these days and he plays sincere humanist characters better than most- as Gekko's new sidekick he will no doubt shine, and the chemistry between the two already looks to be a winner. Alongside LaBeouf in an admirable cast that most directors will no doubt be casing envious eyes over, is the excellent Josh Brolin, original Gekko-pet Charlie Sheen (hopefully minus any 'Two & A Half Men' hangover), Susan Sarandon and Frank Langella, as well, or course, as...
- Carey Mulligan. 'An Education' may have been Mulligan's break-out performance, but 'Money Never Sleeps' is the film that will really announce her arrival on the big screen. I can only hope her character has inherited some of her father's fire and charisma, or she is in danger of being lost in a sea of talent: though having witnessed the way she made 'An Education' her own, Id have to speculate that such an eventuality is unlikely at best.