CANNES, France (Reuters) - With Jodie Foster's "Money Monster", which premieres on Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, Hollywood is expressly holding the banks responsible for the financial crisis.
Foster's fourth feature film sees a TV financial guru played by George Clooney held hostage live on air as Jack O'Connell in the role of a disillusioned viewer decides to take revenge after he loses money following advice from Clooney.
"I hadn't seen much response to the financial crisis by Hollywood," said Dominic West, star of "The Wire" and "The Affair" who plays a banker in Foster's film, told a news conference just before the premiere.
"This attracted me for that reason - it was holding the bankers to account in a very graphic, dramatic way that I think resonated very much. Then I realised I was going to be the evil banker," said West.
The film co-stars Julia Roberts, who makes her Cannes debut.
"I discovered the role would entail holding George Clooney hostage, likewise Julia Roberts and going after Dominic West with a gun and a bomb vest, a detonator..., so I thought that was within my capabilities," said O'Connell.
Clooney also praised "Money Monster" for trying to teach a lesson.
"It just seems that we've gotten used to the idea that some schmuck can get up on television and tell you where to put your money and they do it out of entertainment, and people listen to them and do it and lose things in real life, and the rest of the world goes on unhurt by all these things," he said.
Foster, 53, a two-time Academy Award winner as best actress who since 1991 has also directed "Little Man Tate", "Home for the Holidays" and "The Beaver", believes her new movie has just the right balance to find its audience.
"I think people do still want to make movies that make them think, that make them feel, that don't manipulate them," she said.
"But there aren't very many being made in the mainstream world. So one of the reasons why I think this film belongs here in some ways is that it's challenging how stories are told and that you do not have to choose between being a mainstream film and being an intelligent movie. You can be both."
"Money Monsters" comes a year after "The Big Short", about renegade Wall Street fund managers during the financial crisis. "The Big Short" won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Mark Heinrich