Dir: Michael Winterbottom
Starring: Steve Coogan, David Mitchell, Isla Fisher, Asa Butterfield
Greed is a venomous satire of a mega rich retail boss with more than a passing resemblance to UK billionaire Topshop owner Sir Phillip Green. In it we follow Sir Richard McCreadie (Coogan) and his staff of harried underlings as they throw the party to end all parties in an attempt to save face following McCreadie’s much publicised bankrupting of a long running high street department store to great personal financial gain (sound familiar?)
Steve Coogan is on top form as the sneering, domineering and hopelessly vain billionaire, he is thoroughly unsympathetic, yet believable. As the film progresses he reaches near pantomime villain levels of evil. He’s supported by the cream of the crop of the British sitcom scene (Tim Key, Asim Chaudhry, Paul Higgins to name a few.) David Mitchell makes a rare film appearance to play the ‘average joe’ writer hired to biograph Sir Richard. He plays an excellent straight man against the crazed extravagance of the ultra-rich.
The film is sometimes on the verge of mockumentary with some epic one liners, but still manages to hit some powerful emotional beats as it explores high street fashions treatment of low paid Asian factory workers and Sir Richard’s treatments of the Syrian refugees who happen to be in his way. It’s audacious, sharply written, well performed and reaches a genuinely surprising poetic ending. Winterbottom’s most thoughtful and most entertaining film in years by far, even if it fails to reach the comedic brilliance of his last Coogan project, The Trip.