Take this story from this month’s American Lawyer. It turns out that when Oliver Stone needed to figure out what was really going on during the height of the recession, he turned to Latham attorneys Alexander Cohen and Brian Cartwright. The lawyers are at Latham now, but their previous government experience gave Stone the inside knowledge he was looking for.
And because of their efforts, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps will be a much better movie…
The American Lawyer story gives us a nice little insight into how Oliver Stone makes his movies:
The conversation could not be described as leisurely. Stone fired questions at Cohen about everything from the freezing money markets to the number of people in the conference room at the New York Fed the weekend before Lehman declared bankruptcy.
Being a movie director, Stone focused on the visual elements: Did the financial leaders have ties on or jackets off? (Ties on.) Were they eating off paper plates or china? (The Fed has its own china.) The questions didn’t end after that morning in the Meatpacking District.
More important then the “Latham = cool” aspect of the story, the work of Cohen and Cartwright has helped to make the new Wall Street movie safe for lawyers who want to go to the theater without smashing their brains in:
Cohen and Cartwright initially restricted their comments to the technical matters that are important to lawyers, but might not capture the attention of Hollywood types. For instance, a character discussing the remaining investment banks converting to bank holding companies would naturally talk about the need for access to the “discount window,” not the more ambiguous “window.” Gordon Gekko, having served time for tax evasion and money laundering, would emerge from a federal, not a state, penitentiary. Cartwright, a former astrophysicist, even pointed out that the speed of a laser fusion device described in a subplot was wrong. Lawyers!
Thank you, Messrs. Cohen and Cartwright. Seriously, thank you. I want to see that movie, and honestly Gekko getting released from state prison would have really pissed me off. It would have ruined the entire scene that they’ve been previewing all over the place. I hate it when well-paid producers, directors, and Hollywood writers miss really basic things like that. Blog typos I can live with (hehe), but “movie typos”? Glaring mistakes in multimillion-dollar blockbuster films that take years to produce? There’s no excuse for that.
But this is probably why I like Oliver Stone movies (even though they’re not as rollicking and entertaining as Jerry Bruckheimer flicks). Oliver Stone pays attention to the little things.
And for Wall Street 2, it appears that some Latham lawyers helped him out. Everybody wins. I’m definitely going to see this movie now.
Greed Is Still Good [American Lawyer]