The latest from acidic British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom isn't out to covertly needle the super-rich. Just look at the title of the movie. Or take a gander at Steve Coogan's bleached teeth on the poster, gleaming as though polished in a commercial for bathtub cleaner. No, Greed is a movie that knows fictional clothing magnate Sir Richard McCreadie (Coogan) is a scumbag. The question is where to go from there. Sure, there's entertainment value in the billionaire's bizarre, half-satirical vanity. We see "Greedy" McCreadie plan his lavish 60th birthday bash in Mykonos, ordering staff to build a fake Colosseum, train a lion, hire celebrity lookalikes and order refugees off the nearby beach lest they ruin his view. As always, Coogan relishes playing the ass; he even does so when playing himself in Winterbottom's Trip trilogy. But beyond certain outlandish gags, the satire doesn't reveal much, especially in over-obvious rock-'n'-roll flashbacks and a deposition-framing device. While the sheer antipathy of Greed toward tax-evading robber barons can be cathartic, it seems more like a movie derived from a list of global grievances—sweatshops, bad-faith business acquisitions, the Syrian refugee crisis, Brexit, the pillaging of Greece's natural beauty—than a story idea. R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Living Room.
The Invisible Man
The most recent version of H.G. Wells' famed story The Invisible Man, which has been in development since 2007 and was originally slated to feature Johnny Depp (no thanks) as the possessive, psychotic husband who fakes his own suicide, is now informed by the #MeToo movement. The brilliant Elizabeth Moss embodies the invisibility of abused women everywhere whose reports are often disbelieved with a typical top-shelf performance as Cecilia. It's a bit surprising that director Leigh Whannell, known mostly for writing the Saw films, was given such a project, but he mostly guides the film ably, particularly with his use of negative space to ratchet up the intensity of scenes featuring the title character. Whannell also scores points for realizing this is Moss' vehicle and letting his talented star shine, but many of the characters around her are poorly written and, minus a charming turn by Aldis Hodge as Cecilia's supportive friend, are painfully two-dimensional. While The Invisible Man never quite reaches the Hitchcockian heights it aims for, it is a largely successful, if flawed, thriller that further cements Moss as a generational talent. R. DONOVAN FARLEY. Dine-In Progress Ridge 13, Mill Plain 8, Vancouver Mall 23, Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Cornelius, Eastport, Living Room, Oak Grove, Bridgeport, Cascade, Cinema 99, City Center, Division, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd, Pioneer Place, Sherwood, Tigard, Scappoose, Studio One.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
"Painting is a blind man's profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels." Picasso's famous quote could be the motto of Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is a painter in 1770 France who has been sent to an island to work on the portrait of an unwilling subject. Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) does not want her likeness captured on canvas since it symbolizes the loss of her independence—the finished work will be sent to her arranged husband-to-be in Milan—and won't sit for the portrait. The woman's mother arranges for Marianne to act as a companion while studying her features to paint them by memory, but their early moments together signpost the romance to come. Writer-director Céline Sciamma's examination of desire is as beautiful as the developing relationship. It's easy to get lost in the turquoise hues of the ocean surrounding the island that becomes the only place where they can love each other without judgment. Using light, framing and texture the same way a Rococo painter would in 1770, Sciamma has crafted a world that demands to be seen and felt. R. ASHER LUBERTO. Hollywood, Living Room, Bridgeport.