Rogue Trader

Ewan McGregor is Nick Leeson, the Watford chancer who single-handedly destroyed the oldest private bank in the world. How he did this is a source of fascination, yet the film's portrayal of futures trading on the Singapore International Money Exchange is a decidedly plodding assemblage of flashing computer displays, jostling traders in striped blazers, and cutaways to McGregor, bright-eyed or sunken-cheeked as the occasion demands. Rather than aiming for savage satire or ultrablack comedy, the film (based on Leeson's own book) simply plays it down the middle, taking the line that this child of Thatcherism was merely doing his employers' bidding, got in way too deep, and never had the proper management around him. Though his 'gor blimey' accent may grate, McGregor puts his all into the role; his sweating earnestness, however, isn't enough to break the overall inertia, and the rest of the cast are simply bystanders. Anna Friel gets the thankless task of bored housewife Lisa Leeson, while the likes of Tim McInnerny and John Standing compete for the upper-class twit-of-the-year honours as the flailing, plum-toned Barings Bank top brass.

Release details

Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: James Dearden
Screenwriter: James Dearden
Cast: Ewan McGregor
Anna Friel
Yves Beneyton
Betsy Brantley
Caroline Langrishe
Nigel Lindsay
Tim McInnerny
Irene Ng
John Standing
Pip Torrens
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