For some reason, Richard Gere has yet to appropriate his own slightly patronising catchphrase for the swell in quality of his recent output (ref. “The McConaissance”).
His comprehensive manipulation of all on & off screen stakeholders (including you, audience member!) as beleaguered hedge fund manager Robert Miller deserves serious attention.
Robert Miller is on the front cover of business mags across the country; a handsome, successful family man whose company keeps moving from strength to strength – or so it seems!
Unbeknownst to his family & colleagues, including his second-in-command daughter, he has tied up major funds in an investment that will never pay dividends due to its controversial setting. His company is on the rocks, and only he knows it.
Throw in an affair and a secret, terrible personal tragedy, and you begin to see the proverbial fan bracing for impact. What will he do?
Arbitrage fantastically details a successful man’s desperation as he tries to salvage the life he has created for himself & his family, throwing your sympathy and condemnation from side to side until it’s hard to remember which way is up.
Richard Gere is utterly convincing in the lead role, driving the plot forwards with nervy energy. Susan Sarandon complements this edginess fantastically even in a small number of scenes, rounding out Gere’s portrait and investing audiences fully in the unravelling catastrophe.
Details & smaller performances make the movie sparkle, with short & subtle scenes revealing a full scope of relationships and contexts for Gere to handle (or exploit). Special mention has to go to Tim Roth for his frustrated Detective, Nate Parker for an achingly loyal friend, and Laetitia Casta’s naive artist.
It’s an excellent character piece that will leave you thinking & debating personal & business ethics; what is important in life and what lengths people will go to for their family. Or their career. Or reputation… which is it?