Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Full disclosure: I’ve never been an Oliver Stone adherent, not even in those embryonic days of cinematic discovery, when our prospect is limited and our idea of “good film” comprises mainstream projects that seem to (but don’t really) flirt with the fringe. This is Stone all over: a flatulent bomber who drops controversial topics from screaming aircraft and seems inordinately proud when they land like duds. I’ll cop to a fondness for Talk Radio, which has more to do with my ambivalence towards the kinetically churlish Bogosian than anything (pitch-perfect casting will take a movie further than it can go under its own steam), but by and large Stone’s projects have as much meaning as a toddler’s grocery-store meltdown — while insisting they have much, much more. Perhaps some viewers spot insight in Stone’s anxious bluster, but all I see is a rather inarticulate man reduced to communicating his frustrated entitlement with clenched fists, all in the guise of Telling the TruthTM. Stone’s signature shot — a swooping, revolving Steadicam maneuver that he uses in most of his confrontational scenes — is a trick that lends a false sense of mastery, I think, to his projects. The shot itself is appropriate and even thrilling, slick and attractive, but it’s all the director really has. It’s a visual whoop-and-holler that creates a pounding in our aesthetic ear that substitutes for significance.

Full review and comments beneath the fold.

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