Personal Ballots: Best Actor and Best Actress - And so it's come to this, the finale of the traditional Oscar-like categories in our own annual Film Bitch Awards. All the nominations have been announce...
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
When the credits finally began to roll on Stone's latest cinematic endeavor, my dad summarized the entire feeling of those of us in the room with a quiet groan and stretch combo, capped off by "well, there's two hours I'll never get back." I decided it would be nice tongue and cheek to point out that 'you never get your two hours back' but I couldn't help agreeing with his summary of the film. Despite a promising beginning, with the death of one of the film's main characters, the Money Never Sleeps dies as well.
And the more I've thought about it, the more I believe Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is indicative of all the flaws Oliver Stone has gained over the years. The most predominant: No Direction. I don't mean direction in the sense of what he does behind the camera, I mean in his handling on the stories. Alexander, W., and Wall Street 2 all suffer from simply having nowhere to go. They don't build up to anything. They don't examine anything. They simply meander through a series of passably interesting events, and then stumble onto some sort of conclusion before sprinting towards the credits.
It seems to me that Stone has lost his edge. That sharp point which echoed throughout much of his late '80s and early '90s works which brought him to fruition. Even with all that is going on in the world of banking, Money Never Sleeps finds nothing to really attack. Stone settles for tip-toeing around issues, and only dealing with them in minute contexts that have nothing to do with the greater picture.
This is a massive shame considering the wide spread talent involved. Douglas feels like a watered down version of his former Gecko self. Shia Lebouf is there to pad out a lacking younger demographic, but offers very little. Susan Surandon's character could have been written out without the film batting an eye. Hell, by the time the credits roll Eli Wallach has been reduced to a whistling, 'why the hell is he talking about birds?' buffoon. The rest are just there, going through the numbers in a film that should be creating entirely new calculations to make those numbers illuminate!
Ah well, all is not lost. At least Stone will always have his heyday. I just hope he doesn't delude himself into thinking that this is it.