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01 Mar 2013
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Richard Gere (Pretty Woman, Chicago) gives a stunning, career-best performance in Nicholas Jarecki’s ARBITRAGE, a role that this month saw him nominated in the Best Actor category at the 2013 Golden Globes. Academy Award winning Susan Sarandon (The Lovely Bones, Dead Man Walking) also stars in this tense and gripping story of desperation in the face of financial and family ruin. Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs), Brit Marling (Another Earth), Laetitia Casta (The Island) and Nate Parker (The Secret Life of Bees) complete the stellar cast.
When we first meet New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Gere), he appears the very portrait of success in American business and family life. However, behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is in over his head, desperately trying to conceal an affair with French art-dealer Julie Cote (Casta) whilst racing to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before his fraudulent dealings are revealed. When a tragic accident complicates things further, attracting the unwanted attention of tenacious NYPD detective Michael Bryer (Roth), Miller finds himself battling not just for his reputation but also his life. As the net tightens around him, Miller realises that the suspicions of not just the police but also his loyal wife (Sarandon) and heir-apparent (Marling) have been aroused. With time running out, can Miller find a way out without destroying his own life and those around him?
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Movies.ie Critic Review
Directed by Nicholas Jarecki. Starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth, Nate Parker, Laetitia Casta, Stuart Margolin, Chris Eigeman.
THE PLOT: Money’s too tight to mention for billionaire investor Robert Miller (Gere) – and so, he’s had to borrow $400million to cover his recent losses as he tries and sells his business. And time is running out, a problem that is somewhat accelerated in stress terms when a late night drive leaves Robert with one dead French mistress in his passenger seat. Keen to keep all this from not only his wife (Sarandon) and daughter (Marling) but also the cops (led here by a constantly slouching Roth), Robert spends one very nerve-racking weekend trying to find lies to cover his lies…
THE VERDICT: On paper, it’s hard to get excited about a Richard Gere thriller. Mainly because it’s old kinda-reliable Richard Gere. It comes as something of a pleasant surprise then to find that Arbitrage is actually pretty darn good, being a timely and informed drama that takes us behind the velvet curtain of high finance. Bernie Madoff would seem like the obvious inspiration here, but Gere has said they were thinking more of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who manage to lose $9billion of other people’s money before being rumbled.
Jarecki – making his debut feature – knows both the filmmaking and the financial world, coming from a family steeped in both, and he’s put all that knowledge to good use here. A major hit in the US, where it broke the record for a day-and-date theatrical and VOD release, Arbitrage is actually a pretty safe bet.
Review by Paul Byrne
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