Equity, review: “It ambles along but never really grips”

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:44 01 September 2016

Anna Gunn as Naomi Bishop Picture: Sony Pictures

Anna Gunn as Naomi Bishop Picture: Sony Pictures

Archant

Perhaps because nobody right now wants to see a film about the struggles of a good banker.

In a contest for worse movie titles you’d have to go pretty low to beat Equity, if only because of the slight chance that it might actually be about the actors’ union.

The reality isn’t necessarily much more enticing – a female focused Wall Street drama about a successful banker (Gunn) who is still trying to crack the glass ceiling.

Her status has been weakened by a recent career wobble, so she needs to be wary of her ambitious younger colleague (Thomas), an old friend who is now a prosecutor investigating financial malpractice and her occasional boyfriend (Purefoy), a hedge fund manager in need of a good tip.

The novelty of the film is seeing normal, human sized women with normal human shaped faces in lead roles.

Nobody looks like a movie star who has spent weeks researching the role; they all look like they might really have lived the life.

The film generates a low key tension, where every nuance could be significant, every back is waiting to be stabbed.

It is pushing authenticity, and giving it the hard sell, but the down side of that is that the occasional false notes – a party simile used at a business pitch, a symbolic Jenga game on a boss’s desk – really make you doubt your investment in it.

For Anna Gunn this is the reward for her five seasons on #bestvshoweva Breaking Bad. Having been the unwitting and yet still unsympathetic wife of a drug dealer, she now gets to play a banker of unimpeachable ethical standards. Equity ambles along effectively but it never really grips, perhaps because nobody right now wants to see a film about the struggles of a good banker.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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