Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Richard McCreadie (Steve Coogan) is a fashion industry icon and billionaire preparing for his lavish 60th birthday party on a Greek island. As he and his team obsess over every detail, his biographer Nick (David Mitchell) is working hard interviewing his friends and family to learn more about the mogul – and all of the horrible things he did to become so rich.
The synopsis may sound like the description of a story based on any number of real-world billionaires, and that point is not lost on Writer/Director Michael Winterbottom. From the very beginning right through to the end, he savagely skewers the fashion industry and the 1% in increasingly vicious ways. This is high stakes satire and the laughs come fast and furious. The editing and music choices are great and the Cast is top-notch, with Coogan and Isla Fisher (as McCreadie’s ex-wife Samantha) being particular standouts. But Winterbottom has more than just laughs on his mind, frequently stopping the Film dead to detail the likes of horrible working conditions in Sri Lanka and awful money pinching tactics billionaires use to stay ahead. It almost becomes a mockumentary in some cases – except these sharp tonal pivots are anything but funny and barely match the rest of the Film around them.
GREED screens during TIFF at the following times:
Saturday September 7, 5:15pm @ Elgin Theatre [World Premiere]
Sunday September 8, 3:00pm @ Scotiabank Theatre
Sunday September 15, 3:00pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox