Excerpt: When Nicholas Jarecki's dramatic feature debut played at Sundance earlier this year, all the buzz was about Richard Gere playing a "Bernie Madoff-like" character and comparisons were immediately made to last year's economic crash drama "Margin Call" sight unseen. Comparisons may have been premature since this isn’t just about the business and financials as much about how greed and corruption impacts a hedge fund manager’s personal life.
Excerpt: The man who landed himself on the cover of Forbes is in dire straits to sell his company to an unsuspecting buyer before some financial shenanigans come to light. To cover up his financial missteps, Miller had to borrow $400 million from a friend to help hide his investment losses, but he’s overdue on the repayment and his investor wants his cash back—now!
Conclusion: Arbitrage was an interesting character study of how one man who has everything is not above losing it all over bad judgment. The difference that’s illustrated with a man like Robert Miller is that even when things are going wrong for Miller, he has unlimited resources to correct them. That’s not necessarily a good thing in the context of the film. Arbitrage was a pretty awesome movie and I look forward to more of Nicholas Jarecki’s work.
Excerpt: Richard Gere has never even been nominated for an Academy Award. He's been making movies—many of them well-regarded, from An Officer and a Gentleman to Chicago —for four decades without even the hope of a little gold statue to call his own. I won't pretend to know why the Academy has failed to honor Gere, but all those years toiling without a statue have put him in an odd position with respect to his peers.
Summary: This could have easily been a typical tale of a corrupt Wall Street shark, but it’s not. There’s a depth and humanity to the character of Robert Miller that makes this film very compelling. This movie is well worth your time and money.
Excerpt: The Film Richard Gere is one of those actors. He's had his share of crappy movies, such as Dr. T and the Women , Nights in Rodanthe and The Double . However, when he's hot, he's hot -- in every single sense of the word. He certainly oozes that hotness in Arbitrage . Part of that draw is that Gere's Robert Miller is a very powerful guy. On the eve of his 60th birthday, he seems to have it all.
Conclusion: Most people have likely felt the effects of the economic crunch in one form or another, and seeing aspects of it on film may not be the way most audiences would like to spend their time escaping from the real world. Thankfully, 'Arbitrage' works as both a reminder of recent events, but also as a competent, if not overly compact, thriller.
Conclusion: I was sort of half expecting Arbitrage to be another "weighty" drama a la Margin Call , but for me personally this outing with duplicitous high rollers on Wall Street was a much more satisfying, exciting experience. Part of this is due to the fact that Jarecki is working in several idioms simultaneously, and the cat and mouse game that takes up the central act of the film adds a nice thriller element to the proceedings that Margin Call never had (nor obviously tried to...