Last night we caught up with Anthony Mackie at the New York screening of “The Banker.”
Remember this George Nolfi movie was supposed to be released last fall by the new AppleTV+ or whatever it’s called. It’s a feature film– a really terrific one– co-starring Samuel L. Jackson and Nia Long. But there was a tempest in a teapot about one of the producers, so Apple pulled the movie back. Anyway, who cares? The movie is here.
No one from Apple showed up at last night at the swanky iPic Theater in South Street Seaport, but Mackie did after showing the film with Jackson on Monday night at the National Civil Rights museum in Memphis.
“The Banker” tells the real story of Bernard Garrett (Mackie) and Joe Morris (Jackson) circa 1960 outfoxed the real estate and banking worlds by making a fortune first in Los Angeles in the former realm, then went to Texas and bought two banks. They were black men, and had no rights, of course, in that embarrassing time in our history. So they used a white guy named Matt Steiner, played by Nicholas Hoult, to be their front man. Nia Long plays Mackie’s wife.
For a while, Garrett and Morris pull off the deception, with Steiner’s help. But then things unravel. Linda Garrett, Bernard’s second wife, is raising a ruckus in the press because timelines and characters have been tweaked to make the movie work dramatically. But it doesn’t matter, and don’t let her or the other static about this movie affect its purpose: “The Banker” tells an important story about how blacks were and are treated when they try to find financial parity in this country.
ANYWAY: Anthony Mackie is one of our premier actors, black or white. He is the new Captain America for Marvel, filming the six episode “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” with Sebastian Stan for Disney Plus. They’re doing six episodes to start, shooting in Prague right now. I asked Anthony about Captain America’s famous red, white, and, blue shield. How many of them are there? And does he have one to carry around? He laughed. “There are nine,” he said. “And no, I don’t get keep one! Can you imagine traveling with that thing all the time? I’d be, I can’t get in this in the overhead bin!”
“The Banker” plays for two weeks beginning Friday, in theaters. Then it goes to Apple TV. Go see it in a theater. And we’ll keep it in mind next fall, for movie awards.