When we are kids we watch movies and think our lives may turn out like just our heroes’ – However, how closely do movie characters fit the reality?
Mitch McDeere, a promising law graduate from Harvard lands what seems like his dream job, seduced by a mega salary and lavish gifts. Of course though, as this is Hollywood, it turns out that ‘The Firm’ is connected with the mob and Mitch is left with a Sophie’s Choice – collaborate with the FBI and risk being found out by the mob, or continue in his job, knowing that it will land him a cosy spot in jail.
Nick Westoll – Trainee Solicitor
“If Hollywood were to make a film about my job, I’m not sure many people would come to watch it. There are certainly no mobsters hanging around our offices! The role varies from the interesting and challenging, such as drafting corporate contracts and taking part in high level meetings, to the more mundane – photocopying, basically. At the same time though, I’m always learning, constantly using my brain and having to be on top of many different projects simultaneously. It’s certainly full on and I don’t know how Tom Cruise finds the time to do all that he does in the film!”
Following on from the original movie Wall Street, Gordon Gecko, a Wall Street banker, is released from prison where he has spent the previous eight years after being done for insider trading. Once out, it’s not long before he’s up to his old tricks of dirty dealings, dubious business alliances, playing people against each other and profiting from other people’s misfortunes.
Will Briggs – Senior Investment Consultant, Selby Jennings
“As an impressionable undergraduate, the glamour and reward that I saw in films like Wall Street 2 was like a blue light to a fly. The reality, of course, was quite different. But you do sometimes see real life Gekkos having a quiet influence on things, which is often far more frightening than the Hollywood imitation. Ultimately, this is big business in its natural habitat and one person’s profit is another’s loss. In that respect, Stone certainly did a fair job of bringing these rainmakers to life for the masses.”
The film follows aspiring British journalist, Sidney Young, as he tries to make a name for himself in New York City. After causing a scene at a party by releasing a pig into its midst, he ends up being hired by an upscale magazine. Despite annoying all and sundry, making inappropriate jokes and even accidentally killing one colleague’s dog, he of course not only gets the promotion he desires, but also the woman of his dreams!
Dave Drummond – Freelance Journalist
“My beginnings as a journalist have been far less glamorous! Despite painting a life of supposed strife and economical woe, which isn’t far wrong, the protagonist still lives in a loft apartment in Manhattan, gets invited to New York’s hottest parties, sleeps with hopelessly attractive women and, seemingly overnight, finds great success. In reality, it’s a difficult business to break in to, hard work to make a name for yourself and not always well-paid but, at the same time, it’s really rewarding to pursue something that I love.”
Biopic of the famed mathematician John Nash and his lifelong struggles with his mental health. Nash enrolled as a graduate student at Princeton in 1948 and almost immediately stood out as a loner. He devoted himself to finding something unique, a mathematical theorem that would be completely original. He kept to himself for the most part and while he went out for drinks with other students, he spends a lot of time with his roommate, Charles, who eventually becomes his best friend. John soon became a professor at MIT where he meets and eventually marries Alicia, a graduate student. Over time however John begins to lose his grip on reality, eventually being diagnosed with Schizophrenia and institutionalized. As the depths of his imaginary world are revealed, Nash withdraws from society and it’s not until the 1970s that he makes his first foray back into the world of academics, gradually returning to research and teaching. In 1994, John Nash was awarded the Nobel prize in Economics.
Dr Mary Dobson, medicine researcher
“When I think back to the beginning of my career, I can easily offset into the lives of the actors. If you want to be successful in research, the pressure to publish is very high and it can be incredibly stressful. There are indeed times when you insulate yourself from society. There are also rivalries between colleagues. Nevertheless, it is incredibly fulfilling to devote my career to science and to explore a fascinating field.”