Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Arbitrage: Movie Review

Arbitrage: Movie Review


Cast: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling, Laetitia Casta
Director: Nicholas Jarecki

Richard Gere stars as a troubled hedge fund magnate, Robert Miller, in this thriller from first time director Jarecki.

As he turns 60, Miller is the epitome of success - a beautiful home, beautiful family, respected within the business community. But under the public exterior lies a troubled truth - Miller has a mistress, young French art dealer Julie (Casta) and is desperately trying to seal the sale of his company before his fraud is discovered.

But it all goes wrong - a car accident is disastrous for Miller. And his carefully built house of cards threatens to topple over when NYPD Detective Michael Bryer (Tim Roth) comes sniffing around.

Arbitrage is a taut thriller, slickly produced and shot but one which benefits greatly from a searing performance by Gere. He's watchable, and never predictable as the story plays out, preferring to go for a classier approach rather than the sleaze that he clearly is. And it's obvious that Miller has some morals somewhere deep down but chooses just to make the wrong choices as the screws begin to tighten around him.

If Gere's all uptight, subdued swagger then Roth as the detective out to finally bring down one of the rich-erati is his polar opposite. Walking with a slouch and slumping on furniture wherever he can, Roth's shaggy faced detective is a voice for many who feel that Wall Street has got away with too much for far too long. As the cat and mouse game winds up ever closer to the end, you may find your allegiances torn between both sides as each tries to weasel out of their fate.

While Gere and Roth are stand-outs here with characters which are slightly stereotyped, it's the supporting players who also shine; Sarandon is impressive, particularly in one scene with Gere where she finally decides enough is enough. That scene shows masterful touches and subtle nuances which speak volumes about their character's history with each other. Likewise, Another Earth's Brit Marling does well in this as the daughter and chief financier of the company, forced to confront Miller's duplicitous behaviour.

All in all though, it's Gere who should be the main reason for seeing this film - while its story is perhaps the stuff of novels and occasionally predictable mini-series, his performance lifts this cautionary tale that money can't buy you everything out of the ordinary.

Rating:




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