Michael Winterbottom unites once more with actor Steve Coogan for his latest project, Greed, their first collaboration since the third installment of their Trip franchise with 2016’s The Trip to Spain. Produced by Laine Kline and Luke Scrase of Sony Pictures International Productions, Damian Jones of DJ Films, Melissa Parmenter for Revolution Films, plus Daniel Battsek and Ollie Madden for Film4 (their sixth production with Winterbottom), the film also stars Isla Fisher, David Mitchell, Sophie Cookson, Shirley Henderson, Asa Butterfield, Sarah Solemani, Shanina Shaik, Dinita Gohil, Asim Chaudhry, Pearl Mackie, Jonny Sweet, Ollie Locke, and Stephen Fry in what sounds a bit similar to Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty (2013). A year without a Winterbottom film is a rarity, and he was just in Toronto 2018 with The Wedding Guest. An impressive festival competition record includes once in Karlovy Vary with 1996’s Jude and once in Venice with 2003’s Code 46. He’s been thrice in San Sebastian with 9 Songs (2004), A Cock and Bull Story (2005), and Genova (2008), which won Best Director. In Cannes, Winterbottom competed with 1997’s Welcome to Sarajevo, 1999’s Wonderland, and 2002’s 24 Hour Party People (2007’s A Mighty Heart played out-of-competition). Berlin has, by far, been the most inviting, where Winterbottom has competed six times (Butterfly Kiss, 1995; I Want You, 1998; The Claim, 2000; In the World, 2003; The Road to Guantanamo, 2006; The Killer Inside Me, 2010), winning the Golden Bear in 2003 and Best Director in 2006.
Gist: Co-written by Sean Gray (The Death of Stalin, 2017), Greed is about a self-absorbed retail billionaire (Coogan), who throws himself a 60th birthday bash in Mykonos while a journalist (David Mitchell) is hired to chronicle his life story. But only his wife (Isla Fisher) really knows the man behind the money.
Release Date/Prediction: Greed is aiming for a late 2019 release, so we can expect to see Winterbottom pop up at TIFF and potentially Venice.
Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.