The American.com (one assumes from the language of its other articles a pretty right-leaning US website) knocks up a list of its ten best business based films. The criteria it uses is simple
1) A great movie
2) A relatively realistic picture of business
3) An attitude not openly hostile to capitalism as we know and love it.
Now point 1) would pretty much rule our 2) in my book but would not necessarily rule out 3). Well when you look at their list it is clearly that they have wrestled long and hard with 3) and still found no way around it. Its hard to find flag waving, capitalist friendly films ABOUT business. At least not recently. The list they actually come up with have at least fifty percent which are critical in some way or other to big business. So Wall Street doesn’t make it, Boiler Room left on the side, the criminally under-rated* Shattered Glass is also sidelined (though it is more about journalism than business). But even when these are passed over they cannot complete their list without Glengarry Glen Ross making the cut: and one cannot think of a film which is more openly hostile to capitalism, know or love it.
Which brings us to a film which will almost certainly make the list in a few months time: Will Smith in the Pursuit Of Happyness (and sic). This 1980′s set rags to riches tale has a old looking Smith becoming a stockbroker. Watch the trailer here: and ask yourself as the plot unfolds that you are expecting something bad to happen to Smith as he becomes an evil stockbroker. Yet it doesn’t seem to happen int he trailer (indeed it is very much a trailer which once you’ve seen it, you don’t need to see the film). Still I’m sure the American would be happy with its thesis. And maybe you too can propose a better film about business than Lost In Translation!
*Lookee here, a list of criminally overlooked films which doe snot include Shattered Glass. And does include Munich, Before Sunrise, Match Point and Gangs Of New York. LIKE NONE OF THOSE FILMS GOT COLUMN INCHES. Bah. (And TWO David Gordon-Green films? You made yr point).