For all of her success as an actress, Jodie Foster’s directorial efforts always seem to come a touch short of connecting with audiences – often through no fault of their own. Her 1991 debut Little Man Tate was beloved by critics but lost in the shuffle of producer/distributor Orion Pictures’ messy shuttering, her 1995 family comedy/drama Home of the Holidays was buried in an overpopulated Thanksgiving release schedule, and The Beaver had the misfortune of coming on the heels of a very public meltdown by star Mel Gibson. But after a few years of taking it easy on Netflix (she directed two episodes of Orange is the New Black and a House of Cards), she’s back at the helm of a very high-profile, and timely, feature.
Money Monster stars George Clooney as a TV finance-show host clearly modeled on Jim Cramer, and frequent co-star Julia Roberts as his producer, who finds herself in an even hotter seat when their live broadcast is interrupted by a gun-wielding man (Jack O’Connell, from Unbroken and ’71) who holds Clooney personally responsible for his financial woes, and takes him hostage on live television. So in other words, it’s kinda like Cramer’s Jon Stewart interview, but with more bomb vests.
This one could go either way – might be a tense, well-crafted thriller (along the lines of Foster’s last hit as an actor, Spike Lee’s Inside Man), or some sort of financial crisis wish-fulfillment fantasy. We’ll find out when Money Monster opens May 13.