Starring Richard Gere, Tim Roth, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Nate Parker, Stuart Margolin.
Directed by Nicholas Jarecki.
Classification: MA15+ (Strong themes and coarse language), 107 mins.
A hedge fund magnate (Richard Gere) finds himself in over his head. Desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before his fraud is revealed, he makes an unexpected, bloody error that forces him to turn to an unlikely contact for help.
With its own set of rules and moral guidelines, the rich show they are different in this superb thriller in which honesty and dishonesty are bedfellows. From the outset, the casting of charismatic Richard Gere as the corporate magnate, alerts us to the fact that we, like those around his wheeling-dealing Robert Miller, are likely to be seduced by him. Initially, at least. First time writer and director Nicholas Jarecki has crafted a sophisticated film that grapples with many issues ranging from the superficial to the nitty gritty.As we are drawn into the world of a high flyer complete with loving family, gorgeous mistress and all the trappings that money can buy, we watch how it can all unravel - like a ball of wool at the paws of a playful kitten. It's a great role for Gere, who together with an outstanding cast deliver a smashing tale in which greed, appearances and success are championed over guilt, redemption and truth.There are surprises, twists and turns and an edgy game of cat and mouse as Tim Roth's street-savvy, wonderfully low Detective Michael Bryer sets to the task of connecting Miller to the crime scene of a fatal accident.The film's best scenes are those that reveal the relationships between the key players. Individually and collectively, each cast member is superb, building on the foundations of deceit, allowing us to breathe the air that filters to the head space of the rich and that truth is something that is only dished up when all other options have been explored. [EDITED]
Richard Gere is perfectly cast in Arbitrage as a financial wheeler-dealer whose world caves in on him because of some bad decisions he’s made. But let me ask you something: does anyone find it shocking that a heartless high-roller would do absolutely anything to save his skin—even at the cost of his family’s love and professional reputation? I found myself curiously disengaged from this story and didn’t care what happened to Gere’s character. In his dramatic feature debut, documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, who wrote and directed Arbitrage, manages to bring superficial credibility to a highly contrived story. It has the right look and feel, and the right man in the crucial leading role. The movie is never boring, but it has no resonance. Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Laetitia Casta, Nate Parker, and Stuart Margolin head a first-class supporting cast. The real standout is Tim Roth as a streetwise New York City detective who’s seen it all and can spot a liar a mile away. His accent and attitude are perfect, and he brings much-needed spice to the film. But when you don’t care about the outcome, nothing much else matters.
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