Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Wall Street- Money Never Sleeps film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byOliver Stone
Produced byEdward R. Pressman
Eric Kopeloff
Written byAllan Loeb
Stephen Schiff
Based oncharacters created by
Stanley Weiser
Oliver Stone
StarringMichael Douglas
Shia LaBeouf
Josh Brolin
Carey Mulligan
Frank Langella
Music byCraig Armstrong
CinematographyRodrigo Prieto
Editing byDavid Brenner
Julie Monroe
StudioEdward R. Pressman Film
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • May 14, 2010 (2010-05-14) (Cannes)
  • September 24, 2010 (2010-09-24) (US)
Running time133 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$60-$70 million
Box office$134,748,021
 
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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Wall Street- Money Never Sleeps film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byOliver Stone
Produced byEdward R. Pressman
Eric Kopeloff
Written byAllan Loeb
Stephen Schiff
Based oncharacters created by
Stanley Weiser
Oliver Stone
StarringMichael Douglas
Shia LaBeouf
Josh Brolin
Carey Mulligan
Frank Langella
Music byCraig Armstrong
CinematographyRodrigo Prieto
Editing byDavid Brenner
Julie Monroe
StudioEdward R. Pressman Film
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • May 14, 2010 (2010-05-14) (Cannes)
  • September 24, 2010 (2010-09-24) (US)
Running time133 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$60-$70 million
Box office$134,748,021

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (also known as Wall Street 2 or Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps) is a 2010 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone, a sequel to Wall Street (1987). It stars Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, and Frank Langella. The film takes place in New York, 23 years after the original and revolves around the 2008 financial crisis. Its plot centers on a reformed Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, acting as an antihero rather than a villain, and follows his attempts to repair his relationship with his daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan), with the help of her fiancé, Jacob (Shia LaBeouf). In return, Gekko helps Jacob get revenge on the man he blames for his mentor's death.

Principal photography took place in New York between September and November 2009. After having its release date moved twice, Money Never Sleeps was released theatrically worldwide on September 24, 2010, by 20th Century Fox. Prior to its official release, many journalists connected to the financial industry were reportedly shown advance screenings of the film.

Despite opening to positive reception at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Money Never Sleeps received polarized reviews from critics, who generally praised the acting, but considered it an unnecessary sequel. Though failing to meet its commercial expectations, the film was successful at the box office, topping the United States's ranking during its opening weekend, and earning a worldwide total of $134 million in ticket sales, and more than $15 million on DVD.

Plot[edit]

In 2001, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is released from prison after serving eight years for insider trading and securities fraud. Seven years later, Gekko is promoting his new book Is Greed Good? - warning about the coming economic downturn. His estranged daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan), runs a small news website and is dating Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf), a top proprietary trader at Keller Zabel Investments (KZI). Jacob is a protégé of managing director Louis Zabel (Frank Langella), and is trying to raise money for a fusion research project which would create massive amounts of clean energy for the world.

After Keller Zabel's stock loses more than 30% of its value, Louis Zabel tries to arrange a bailout for KZI from other Wall Street banks but is blocked by Bretton James (Josh Brolin), head of rival firm Churchill Schwartz, which Louis Zabel had refused to bail out eight years earlier. The next morning Louis Zabel kills himself by jumping in front of a subway train because he cannot handle the stress and embarrassment of losing his company. Distraught, Jacob proposes marriage to Winnie, who accepts. Later, he approaches Gordon Gekko after a lecture. Gekko tells Jacob that Keller Zabel's collapse started when rumors of the company having toxic debt started to spread. Jacob and Gekko arrange a trade: Jacob will try to reconcile Winnie and Gekko's relationship, and Gekko will gather information to destroy Bretton's career to seek revenge for Louis Zabel's suicide.

Aided by Gekko, Moore learns that Bretton James profited from the Keller Zabel collapse. In revenge, he spreads rumors about the nationalization of an African oil field owned by Churchill Schwartz. The company loses $120 million, and Bretton offers Moore a job, which he accepts determined to avenge Zabel. At his new job, Moore convinces Chinese investors to fund the fusion research he has been supporting. Bretton is impressed by Jacob's initiative and is also glad for the new investment.

As the economy starts to crumble, Winnie announces to Moore she is pregnant with a boy, and Bretton reveals to Moore that the Chinese investment is going into bunk solar panels and fossil fuels instead of fusion research, which upsets Moore. Gekko proposes a solution, using a $100 million trust fund account in Switzerland, which Gekko set up for Winnie in the 1980s, to fund the research and save the company. She signs the money over to Moore who then entrusts it to Gekko to legitimize the funds for investment in the fusion research company. However, the money never arrives, and Gekko betrays his daughter and Moore by leaving the country with Winnie's $100 million. Jacob realizes that Gordon Gekko has been using him to get the money in the account for his own gain. Distraught, Jacob confesses to Winnie that he had been secretly meeting with Gekko. Winnie then asks Jacob to leave as she neither trusts him nor feels safe around him. Jacob leaves and they remain apart for most of Winnie's pregnancy.

Moore tracks Gekko to London where he is running a hedgefund-like financial company with the $100 million. Jacob proposes one last trade: Winnie gets her money back, and Gekko can participate in his grandson's life, yet Gekko refuses. Moore pieces together everything from Keller Zabel's collapse to the economic bailout of Bretton's company and gives the information to Winnie, telling her that revealing it will bring her website publicity and credibility. Winnie runs the story, and Bretton James is exposed. The investors leave Bretton and go to Gekko on the back of his $1.1 billion return as Bretton finds himself under intense legal scrutiny by the government. As Jacob finds Winnie in New York, Gekko appears and tells them that he deposited $100 million into the fusion research's account anonymously. He apologizes to Jacob and Winnie, who then reconcile. One year later, Gekko is seen at his grandson Louis ('Louie') first birthday party along with Jacob's mother and Jacob and Winnie's friends.

Cast[edit]

Characters[edit]

Douglas at the film's premiere at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Michael Douglas reprises his role as Gordon Gekko. Gekko has recently been released from prison and, after a failed attempt to warn business leaders of the imminent economic downturn, he decides to try to rebuild a relationship with his estranged daughter Winnie.[1]

Shia LaBeouf portrays Jacob "Jake" Moore, an ambitious, young proprietary trader who works for Keller Zabel Investments, and is in a relationship with Winnie.[2] LaBeouf's role in the film has been said to be a role similar to that of Charlie Sheen's in the original.[3] The young actor said he was able to relate to his character's background and found similarities in their motivations.[4] Initially the actor was intimidated by the idea of working on a film that was going to stretch his dramatic abilities and came to the film set with a different approach, which was that if he disappointed his fans twice, his career was finished after making two recently panned sequels.[3]

LaBeouf stated that, during his first meeting with Stone, the director was "really expedient about killing any ego or conceit on my part", saying not to worry because Tom Cruise was not an actor when he first worked with him either, which LaBeouf considered a knife to his heart.[5] LaBeouf said that he did not know what a credit derivative is or what a CP, LP, or LVC were, commenting "You gotta know ticker names."[6] He also said that he has "no concept" of the "ins and outs of the financial world"[6] and, as part of getting into character, he chose to stay thin to be like hedge funders.[7] To prepare for the film he traded with different firms, playing with up to $1 million and became so interested in trading that he began studying for the Series 7 Exam.[5]

Josh Brolin plays Bretton James, head of the Churchill Schwartz investment bank, whom Jacob blames for the death of his mentor. Bretton has been described as being a villain.[8][9] Bretton is presented as a "new style" version of Gekko in the film.[2] Javier Bardem was in final talks to play the character; in July 2009 it was confirmed that he had turned down the project in favor of a film adaptation of the book Eat, Pray, Love, with Julia Roberts.[10] Brolin took the part and lost 30 pounds in a month to prepare physically for this part.[7] The actor, acknowledging that every character had both good and bad in them, viewed Bretton as being on a "higher level", adding that he liked the ambition his character had and that he was an opportunist.[11]

Carey Mulligan was cast as Winnie Gekko, Gordon's estranged daughter and Jacob's fiancée. Winnie has not spoken to her father since his imprisonment; she blames Gordon for the suicide of her drugged out brother, Rudy.[12] The character has been said to be the "moral center of the story" and described as being liberal, and to some extent passive.[13][14] Mulligan is British and had to speak with an American accent for her role.[15] Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was her first major studio film.[16] When she had first met Stone for the role she explained that she did not want her character to be a "token girlfriend", they both agreed to work to make sure that would not happen.[17] During the same encounter Stone learned that she had short hair, and he initially discussed having her wear a wig, which Mulligan did not agree to; stating that she did not feel like herself when wearing the hairpiece, Stone trusted her and made an exception.[18] According to Mulligan, Stone cast her in the Wall Street sequel based on her performance in An Education (2009).[19]

Frank Langella was cast as Louis Zabel. His death "ultimately leads the characters to discover the shady practices" of James's hedge fund.[20] Susan Sarandon portrays Sylvia Moore, Jacob's real-estate agent mother who is just as consumed by greed as Gekko is, but in a different sense.[21] Audrey, a "tough, intelligent trader in the Wall Street trenches", is portrayed by Vanessa Ferlito.[22] John Buffalo Mailer plays Jacob's Long Island financier friend, Robby[2] and Eli Wallach plays the part of Jules Steinhardt, a Churchill Schwartz top executive and Wall Street patriarch who considers the current economic climate to be like the 1929 stock market crash. Pressman deemed the actor's role as the "crier of doom," who, "reveals just how much more devastating things can be today."[23] Charlie Sheen reprised his role of Bud Fox, Gekko's former protégé, whom he meets briefly at a cocktail party.[2] Sylvia Miles reprised her role as a real estate agent from the first film.

Natalie Morales;[24] Graydon Carter, the Vanity Fair editor; Nouriel Roubini, an economist; Stone's mother; and Warren Buffett have minor roles in the film.[25] Jim Cramer also makes a brief appearance after Stone cast him because he was a former hedge fund manager.[26] Stone, who had a cameo in the first film, plays a different brief role in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. He wanted to give the young LaBeouf "some older connections" that would "give it weight" in the movie.[27] Donald Trump and Julianne Michelle played minor parts, but Trump's scene was cut from the final version (it is instead available on the DVD). Stone said the scene was too "distracting" for the ending.[25] Program host Neil Cavuto appears in the sequel for several seconds. A longer scene that involved him was cut; a representative for Stone clarified that his decision was an aesthetic, not political, choice.[28] Roger Hendricks Simon, a director-actor, landed a part acting as a thinly veiled version of former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg. Like Trump's part, his scenes were not included but are in the film's DVD version.[29]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In early 2007, The New York Times reported that a sequel to Wall Street, then tentatively titled Money Never Sleeps, had entered pre-production and was in the early stages of development with a screenplay by Stephen Schiff of The New Yorker.[30][31] Shortly after the film was confirmed, Douglas was reported to be interested in reprising his role as Gordon Gekko, depending on the script. In October 2008, 20th Century Fox announced that it had officially green-lit the film and would serve as a distributor.[32][33] In the same month it was announced that Allan Loeb had been approached to write a script that was being referred to as a "page one rewrite", meaning that he would be starting "from scratch".[34] Shortly after the film had entered pre-production it was announced that both Charlie Sheen and Daryl Hannah would not be involved with the sequel for unknown reasons.[30] Despite stating that Sheen was not going to return, Stone confirmed he would briefly reprise his role as Bud, which would be worked into the script.[35]

Around May 2007, The New York Times reported that Stone had turned down the opportunity to direct the film, even after months of being pressured to do so by Douglas, among others.[30] However, in April 2009 Fox confirmed that Stone would be returning as both director and producer,[36] alongside Douglas and Edward R. Pressman. Stone stated that he reconsidered passing on directing the film after the stock market crash.[37] The film was co-produced by Eric Kopeloff with Alessandro Camen and Celia D. Costas serving as executive producers. In addition to screenwriter Loeb, the film's overall writer is Schiff. Bryan Burrough received credit as a consultant, and may have done uncredited work on the story.

At the time of the film's announcement the plot details were kept under-wraps, but Loeb later confirmed that its plot would primarily focus on Gekko, recently released from prison and re-entering a much more "chaotic" financial world than the one he once oversaw from the previous film.[31] Its budget was reported to be between $60 million ($50 million with the tax credits)[38] and $70 million.[23] Money Never Sleeps was being used as the film's working title[39] before being renamed Wall Street 2 at the director's request[40] and finally changed to Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. As part of research for the film, Douglas and Stone had a dinner meeting with Samuel D. Waksal, the founder of the bio-pharmaceutical company ImClone Systems, who spent five years in federal prison for securities fraud.[41] LaBeouf, along with Stone, discussed the financial collapse with multiple hedge fund managers.[41]

Early in mid-2009, Stone took LaBeouf to a cocktail party organized by Nouriel Roubini, a New York University economics professor and chairman of a consulting firm. There, Stone and LaBeouf discussed the financial collapse with Roubini and also discussed hedge fund managers who are clients of Roubini's firm. Roubini said that "in this financial crisis it was the traditional banks and the investment banks that had a larger role in doing stupid and silly things than the hedge funds."[41] Stone also stated that he had conversations with Jim Chanos, a prominent hedge fund manager who had urged him to focus less on hedge funds and more on the banking system, Chanos said, "there was a much more important story, a bigger story, in what happened with the system."[22]

Writing[edit]

In October 2008, 20th Century Fox confirmed that Allan Loeb, who is a licensed stock broker, had been selected to re-write the script.[42] Stanley Weiser had worked on a treatment for a sequel set in the present with Gekko being released from jail; the second part would be set in China. The studio felt that the material was dated, and put the project in turnaround. Stone had a falling out with Pressman, the producer, and began work on W. with Weiser.[43] Weiser's treatment for Wall Street Two was discarded and the film began taking shape from an original script by Stephen Schiff.[44] It was reported that Aaron Sorkin had turned down the opportunity to work on the film's script.[45]

During December 2008, while still in the process of drafting, Loeb said that he had been riveted by the Bernie Madoff headlines and showed interest in referencing him in the film, noting: "the thing that is so crazy about this story is that Ponzi schemes seem to be the simplest low-class scam," and "but this was carried out in the highest-echelon of high-finance. You couldn't even get in to see this guy unless you had $2 million to invest."[46] Stone clarified that Madoff will not be mentioned in the film, commenting that he considered Madoff's actions to be "a crook running a Ponzi scheme" which is "legal robbery."[47] The filmmaker returned to the project in April on the strength of this script,[37][45][48] feeling Loeb's draft was "so great" that he did not feel the need to touch it, although he did have the option.[48]

Sometime in early June, Loeb reportedly handed in his second draft of the film to Fox,[48] and in July, was finalizing the screenplay.[49] Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is based in four locations; New York, London, the United Arab Emirates, and an Asian country.[45][50] One of the character consultants to the new film will be billionaire Vincent Tchenguiz. Pressman said that Tchenguiz had modeled Gekko but did admit that Gekko was "partly Milken" and that Gekko will be a more outwardly altruistic figure but, admits, "a leopard doesn't change its spots, despite appearances."[50] Pressman said of the origin of the film's subtitle: "Wall Street was New York-centric. Today the markets are much more global, hence the title of the new film, Money Never Sleeps."[50] He described Gekko's involvement in the film as being "larger than life".[50]

It was reported that Loeb had taken advice from a "number of real Wall Street movers and shakers" to ensure "horrifying accuracy" for the film's script.[51] Of the re-writes done to script, Stone said: "We sort of started over with the story of a young man who is at the center of it, and how he needs Gordon Gekko's help to navigate those waters."[52] In a reference to the GEICO Gecko commercial, which was suggested by New York Governor David Paterson, Gekko says "even a caveman could do it" in the movie.[27] At the request of Mulligan and LaBeouf, the filmmaker cut some dialogue from the character's break-up scenes, which he at first was initially hesitant to do.[18]

Stone said that the film will provide more of a social commentary and admitted that he had never expected high finance to "serve again as a tableau for his storytelling". He also added that its plot will showcase the unemployment rate at an all-time high and the "our national debt ever climbing."[53] Discussing the difference between Wall Street and its sequel, the director explained, "In the other movie, Charlie Sheen is corrupt at the beginning and he finds a path to integrity. In this movie, it starts out the other way. Shia and Carey are idealists. And their idealism is being threatened."[54] A writer for USA Today believed that the film's story-line "attempts to put the complicated financial schemes that led to the worldwide economic collapse on a human scale."[54]

Filming[edit]

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps being filmed on New York's 6th Avenue in November 2009.

A shift in location in the sequel reflected some of the changes in the world since then: while the The New York Stock Exchange and its trading floor had featured heavily in the first film, they are less prominent in the second. Instead, more time is spent at the Federal Reserve Building, reflecting its new position as a "bulwark of the system" according to Stone.[41] The location provided a link to the contemporary crisis the film examines, since September 2008 it has been an important site for meeting on the crisis. Stone decided not to prominently use the Stock Exchange because interest in stock trading made the system available and comprehensible to everyone and also because it was foreign territory.[41]

Although August 10 was reportedly the start date,[1][48] principal photography began on September 9.[37] The filmmaker continued to make additions to the script and meet with financial consultants about the project whilst filming.[5] Mulligan was able to film all of her scenes in 15 days.[55] Stone said that they were on schedule and on budget, but claimed that the constantly changing weather was a problem for filming.[56] He also said that the filming on location process was similar to the first film.[57] While filming, LaBeouf said that Douglas was an "opened wound on the set" due to his oldest son's arrest in July for drug trafficking, adding that Stone filmed a "struggling" Douglas.[58]

Sheen was able to shoot his scenes in one day and described being on set with the director and Douglas as strange, with Stone adding that it was difficult for the actor.[5] While Sheen was filming his scenes, he had trouble remembering his lines[5] and required some prodding to remember his cue during the party scene in which Gekko encounters Fox.[59] Although eager to meet Sheen, LaBeouf did not interact with him on set per request.[5] Regarding working with the director, who has a reputation for being demanding on his cast, Douglas described his as being mellow, but acknowledged that "it's still always a workout with him."[5] "Everyone was very friendly, but the scene work felt dangerous," LaBeouf recalls of the on-set atmosphere. "These guys aren't going to coddle you. Douglas was the one who comforted me. And I've never gone deeper with a director than Oliver. He's the Easter bunny and Orson Welles in one man."[5] The young actor further discussed Stone's work ethic on-set with him, saying:

"We'd be on the street [filming], and Oliver would just say, 'Go to that bar, get fucked-up, and come back.' I'd walk over, get smashed, and go back to work. He would really fuck with me when I was smashed. I get aggressive when I'm smashed, and he'd film that. He would just open you up completely, make you fucking naked – and then call, 'Action!'"[58]

Douglas filmed the opening scene,[27] which is Gekko being released from Sing Sing maximum-security prison, in Ossining, Westchester County, on September 18.[60] Stone felt that the prison scene was a "key plot element" because there is no-one there to meet Gekko which shows him wandering into world as an outsider.[27] Regarding there being no scenes that show Gekko adjusting to the modern world, the director clarified that there is "very little space to do those kind of tricks in this movie" because of how modern the world is becoming on a monthly basis.[27] Filming took place in Fordham University for the classroom scenes on October 10 and 11.[61] In order to shoot a dining scene between LaBeouf and Douglas, Shun Lee West closed for 24 hours so the two could film scenes at the restaurant for the entire day of November 10.[62] Brolin and Stone found extras simply by asking workers, at places like RdV, if they would like to be a part of the sequel.[63]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack to the film was released on September 21, 2010, through Todo Mundo.[64] The album features numerous songs by David Byrne, including several tracks from his 2008 collaboration with Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Prison" (Craig Armstrong)
  2. "Home" (David Byrne and Brian Eno)
  3. "Life Is Long" (David Byrne and Brian Eno)
  4. "Sleeping Up" (David Byrne)
  5. "Strange Overtones" (David Byrne and Brian Eno)
  6. "Money" (Craig Armstrong)
  7. "My Big Nurse" (David Byrne and Brian Eno)
  8. "Helicopter Reveal" (Craig Armstrong)
  9. "Tiny Apocalypse" (David Byrne)
  10. "Lazy" (David Byrne)
  11. "I Feel My Stuff" (David Byrne and Brian Eno)
  12. "This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)" (Talking Heads)

Marketing[edit]

An advertisement for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

The film was screened out of competition during May 2010 at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Pressman thought that Cannes would be the "perfect platform to launch a film that speaks of today's economic dilemma".[23] It was met with positive reviews from film critics at the festival, although numerous reviewers "objected to an ending deemed somewhat pat". A spokesperson for Fox said that Stone had changed the ending since its screening at Cannes.[65] Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps opened The Ischia Global Film and Music Fest, held during July 11–18.[66] Michael Corkery of The Wall Street Journal reported that numerous journalists involved in the financial industry had been invited to see advance screenings of the film.[67] To promote Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, several cast members visited the NASDAQ Market site in Times Square, on September 20 and presided over the NASDAQ Opening Bell.[68]

Also on September 20, the movie's New York premiere was held at the Ziegfeld Theater in midtown Manhattan.[69] According to Deadline Hollywood the film originally had a February 2010 release date,[1] but it was later given an April 23, 2010, release. In March 2010, the film's release date was pushed back to September 24.[70] Brolin stated that he hoped that audiences would wonder about the ethics of the banking industry, asking "How much is enough?," he concluded, "There used to be a ceiling. Now there's no ceiling".[65] Surveys indicated that the main audience for the movie would be older adults who remembered the first film.[38]

Box office[edit]

Money Never Sleeps opened at a total of 3,597 theaters in the United States, earning nine million on its first day and approximately nineteen million in its opening weekend in the US, averaging $5,330 per theatre and becoming the number one movie at the box office,[71][71] although falling short of studio estimates.[72] Nonetheless it still marked one of the best openings for a Stone film.[72] Despite an increase of thirty-two screens for its second weekend, Money Never Sleeps saw a forty-seven percent decrease on its earnings, falling to third place at the box office and making slightly over ten million for the week.[71]

During the October 8–10 weekend it had a further decrease, falling almost fifty-five percent, earning over four million and dropping to seventh place at the box office.[71] In its fourth week of domestic release it fell under the top ten at the box office with a revenue of more than one million, after suffering a forty-eight percent decrease and seven-hundred and ninety less screens.[71] Domestically, the film made $52.4 million, and has grossed over $134.7 million worldwide. Some of the films top grossing international locations were Australia (almost $5,000,000), Spain (more than $4,700,000), Brazil ($2,300,000) and the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta with a combined total of $4,933,306.[73]

Home media[edit]

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 21, 2010, in the US. Since then it has made more than $15.5 million in DVD sales revenue selling more than 983,000 units.[74]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviews[edit]

The film's reception was mixed, review tallying website Rotten Tomatoes reported a rating of 54%, based on a sample of 209 reviews;[75] for comparison, Wall Street had achieved a 77% positive rating.[76] Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News publication awarded it five out of five stars saying that it is a sharp sequel that is worthy of its investment. He also saluted the cast's performance and noted that Douglas gives Gekko "uncounted layers as he fakes, deals and fuels fire".[77] Matthew Toomey of Australia's 612 ABC Radio Brisbane gave it a B-rating and said that Douglas is the film's "biggest positive", finding LaBeouf to be unconvincing in his role.[78] Christy Lemire, in The Canadian Press, claimed that the film ultimately "goes soft and loses its way" and described the contrast in its final scenes as being "laughable". Furthermore, the subplot between LaBeouf and Mulligan's characters as unneeded and pointed out that their relationship leads viewers to wonder why Winnie, who despises Gekko, would be involved with a man who does exactly the same thing as him, which she condemns; however, Lemire acknowledged that the movie is an uncommon sequel that seems to be both relevant and necessary and said that it proves that "greed can still be good".[79] Film critic Colin Newton of the Brisbane Sunday Mail felt that the plot lacked the enthusiasm of the first film.[80] Along the same lines, Village Voice contributor Nick Pinkerton pointed out that the Wall Street sequel did not have the "clean, fable-like arc" formula of its predecessor.[81]

Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter said that the film succeeded in being one of the good sequels in a while, but that Stone "gets too fancy here and there", the film's "heavy reliance on multiple screens, graphics and digital tricks makes it feel like one is watching CNN with all its computer-screen busyness."[82] Roger Ebert, reviewing the movie in the Chicago Sun-Times, noted that it ended with a better conclusion when Stone had edited the film after its Cannes viewing, but still felt it was a little too long. He considered the film to be sophisticated and said its photography was aestheticlly pleasing but stated he wanted it to be "outraged."[83] In The Guardian Peter Bradshaw gave the film two out of five stars, commenting that "despite the pious waffle about market craziness being like cancer, no one is ever shown enduring the actual misery of losing money."[84] Writing for Time magazine, Richard Corliss stated that the film has the "drive, luxe and sarcastic wit of the snazziest Hollywood movies."[85] David Edelstein, writing in New York Magazine, described the film as being "full of promise, with minuscule returns." He concluded that, like Stone's other recent work, it is difficult to distinguish what the project's focus is supposed to be.[86] New Zealand Herald's Russell Baillie gave it two and a half out of five stars, with the verdict for the film being that it falls flat of its expectations and hype.[87]

Joe Morgenstern from The Wall Street Journal wrote that the movie manages to keep a hold on its audience's attention. He thought that Douglas measured up to Gekko's standards in the film, believing that he was the only actor to sustain a "sense of nasty fun", and felt that LaBeouf's effectiveness was within the range of the film-maker's direction, but was unimpressed with Brolin's portrayal of James. He concluded that the script takes an unconvincing jab at Gekko's "spiritual regeneration," which was due to a scene that he considered to be "inherently illogical and emotionally inert."[88] The Daily Telegraph's David Gritten said that Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps lacked the "punch" of the original film and was annoyed by the number of cameos throughout the film.[13] Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps received three out of five stars from Stephen Lambrechts of IGN Australia. Lambrechts felt that Stone's growth as a film director might mirror Gekko's as a person; having had used time to calm down over the years and settle into a more relaxed state of being. He concluded that the film's final result is not "quite the incendiary attack that it could have been, but it still has plenty to say while also managing to be an entertaining crowd pleaser."[89]

In contrast to the film's detractors, Boxoffice Magazine journalist Pete Hammond said the film was "brilliantly cast" and labeled it a "crackerjack powerhouse of a movie that shines a light on the financial machinations". He stated that Douglas does not lose any of the substance of Gekko and LaBeouf is firm as Jacob. The writer predicted the Wall Street sequel's box office performance would be brisk, while the prospects were assured on DVD.[14] Andrew O'Hehir's of Salon.com reviewed the film from Cannes, calling it an "ambitious, uneven, surprisingly talky melodrama, which mixes a quasi-documentary approach to the crash of 2008 with the story." O'Hehir's considered the film to express a more "personal, intimate sense of moral hazard".[90] Marshall Fine, writing in the Huffington Post, viewed the film as an "overstuffed blend of agitprop and melodrama" that contains a cautionary story pertaining to unchecked capitalism. He considered Stone to be proclaiming a message of the "cancerous effects of greed".[91] Bill Goodykoontz of Arizona Republic admitted that he was not surprised to see that the sequel is not as effective as its predecessor, though it was an engaging film at the top of its game when it is hostile, and less satisfying during romantic parts. He ended by saying that it is not a "great movie", but explained that it is an "effective commentary on what greed cost" everyone.[92] CEO of Tullett Prebon, Terry Smith, one of the largest inter-dealer money brokers in the world, reviewed the movie for Today on BBC Radio 4. He gave it three out of five saying that, although it was "a little bit corny in some respects", it puts the events of the credit crunch into context and that "it rings reasonably true," capturing some of the activities, the moods and the individuals quite well."[93]

Accolades[edit]

AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryRecipient(s)Result
Palm Springs International Film Festival[94]January 8, 2011Breakthrough Performance Award
(Also for Never Let Me Go)
Carey MulliganWon
68th Golden Globe Awards[95]January 16, 2011Best Actor in a Supporting RoleMichael DouglasNominated
2011 Teen Choice Awards[96]August 7, 2011Choice Movie: Actor DramaShia LaBeoufNominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards[97]February 22, 2011Excellence in Contemporary FilmEllen MirojnickNominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]