Noblesse oblige at Cannes

By The Economist online

THE typical Cannes Festival film is either an extravagant exercise in surrealism or an angry indictment of social injustice. But films in the latter category seem surreal in the context of the Festival’s conspicuous consumption. However political the polemics may be, they’re being shown in the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, a venue known for its black-tie galas and red-carpet photoshoots, with a street of high-end jewellery boutiques on one side and a sparkling bay jammed with super-yachts on the other. The only people likely to storm any barricades are the star-spotters craning to glimpse George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

Both were in Cannes for the premiere of “Money Monster”, a satirical hostage thriller which struggles in vain to match its most obvious influences, “Network” and “Dog Day Afternoon”. Clooney plays Lee Gates, a complacent stock-touting guru with his own trashy television show. When a fund he recommends takes an $800m nosedive, one of its shareholders (Jack O’Connell) sneaks into the television studio (which has remarkably lax security) armed with a gun and a bomb vest, demanding an explanation….

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