I was not so happy with the new-star-is-born media fanfare for Carey Mulligan (Winnie Gekko) because it may prove itself a jinx. Our newbie film star shifts from a budding British scholar in An Education to an angry American leftist slacker with a Website “Frozen Truth” in Money Never Sleeps. With hurt writ across her face, Gordon Gekko’s estranged daughter whines, couples, and hates her father. The hatred is reborn while watching TV in the bedroom, when her lover Jacob "Jake" Moore (Shia LaBeouf) spots Winnie’s father in a TV interview touting his new book. Virtually smitten, he plans to befriend Gordon. Then Winnie breaks out the nonstop melancholy. OK, we get that you’re mad at your dad, now can we move on? Can you give us something beside a pretty pout, no luck.
Winnie repeats her warnings to Jake that Gekko is no good but he does not heed it. The couple goes out to a fancy black-tie dinner where she has no enthusiasm to curb. Instead she skulks around a gorgeous ballroom and runs right into daddy Gekko. He is not on the original guest list. He lives in a rented penthouse with rented furniture on the left bank of the Hudson River.
At the table they make nervous small talk. And in midsentence Gordon pivots to acknowledge a passerby; before he can return his glance to his daughter she jumps up “I can’t do this,” runs outside, sits on cold concrete. Jake goes after her. The weepy Winnie (Stone has a sense of humor) reveals that Gekko will never change and she never wants to see him again. Old boyfriend is crushed. He has become the go-between and wants to broker reconciliation but she is making it impossible. The oil-and-water twosome sleeps together but don’t share the same dreams: he dreams of wealth but she, like many second generation rich kids find money the new crack.
Against her better judgment, for Jacob’s cause—green atomic energy—she consents to aid Gekko’s withdrawal of 100 million dollars tucked away in a Swiss trust fund. On the next redeye to the Continent they sign off on documents that will release the trust funds. After the Swiss bank scene, it was way too short, they return to New York to await two little bundles of joy one paper one plastic: a 100 million dollar check and a new baby.