Quality Value: Our Review of ‘Equity’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - August 11, 2016
Quality Value: Our Review of ‘Equity’

Even in a world dominated by numbers, getting equal pay for equal work is easier said than done.  While Equity won’t shake the foundations of any movie houses any time soon, it is a high quality economic thriller that accentuates some very good performances without getting lost in any overly flash production making sure that the meat of the story was always on top.

As a senior investment banker who has closed some of the biggest deals in her firm, there are none better in the Wall Street board room then Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn).  However when she is passed over for a promotion at her firm, she fights for the opportunity to take a start-up public, hoping this promising IPO will secure her a place at the firm’s highest level.   Things seem to moving smoothly but when an employee at the start-up raises questions about a possible crack in the company’s very foundation of what makes it tick, Naomi must decide whether to investigate rumors that may compromise the deal, or push forward with the confidence her superiors expect.

Incredibly visceral and occasionally even a little scary; Equity highlights the cold hard truth of how in the world of finance, perception is actually more important at times then the actual facts and how being a strong, powerful woman in a ‘boys club’ world will never be accepted like it should be.

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Director Meera Menon in only her second feature film makes a bold statement in the world of storytelling as she navigates this narrative with an assured hand and makes sure that what little budget she has to work with.  Much like the characters in the film, you can’t help get wrapped in Menon’s bold yet uphill style of filmmaking, milking every ounce that she can out of the page.

The screenplay from Amy Fox based on the story from Fox as well as co-stars in the film Sarah Megan Thomas and Alysia Reiner isn’t afraid to put these women in the deep end of not only high finance but the personal prices that they all have to pay in order to succeed.  It doesn’t lean on any overt melodrama, but it tells the truth as it oozes a genuine sense of conflict in these women who want, and deserve to have as much as they can get a hold of but know that the odds of that happening in a world dominated by men is a slim to none kind of bet.

There’s a genuine thrill to watch this unfold because we accept and believe this world where they have to walk a line between world conquering confidence at their jobs and the gentile femininity that is expected of them away from the office.  It’s rare to see a movie with characters that are both dead sexy and sympathetic at the exact same time…but that’s Equity.

Anna Gunn leads the way with absolute grace, power and aplomb as her character’s take charge attitude begins to unravel her entire way of life.  Both Sarah Megan Thomas and Alysia Reiner do well in support of Gunn’s character as they both to not only want to support each other, but get ahead in their professions that are historically filled with men.  James Purefoy has found his niche in playing the sleazy male lead and does so spectacularly as he has great chemistry with Gunn but also in the backroom bar meeting with the other ‘boys’ like Craig Bierko and Nate Corddry who ooze so much old school entitlement that you want to pull them out of the screen and smack them around.equity1

To paraphrase a quote from the movie; “Money shouldn’t be a dirty word, it’s OK to like it”.  Truer words have honestly never been spoken because they are right, both men and woman should be allowed to be ambitious in any walks of life.  Fingers crossed that everyone behind Equity believes in those words because this movie should at the very least open up a lot of opportunities for everyone involved.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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