Friday, October 19, 2012


Brit Marling and Richard Gere in Arbitrage
*** out of ****

It took me about twenty minutes of watching this movie to get around to caring. It's a very slow setup that does everything to tell you that the main character, Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is a rich man hiding his desperation to sell a company in this tough economic climate. He has people for whom he must keep up appearances and is a very financially intelligent man who has dirty secrets to keep.

His proud deal-closing nature is put to the test when he makes a mistake in his personal life that leads to much bigger trouble. The movie slowly becomes intriguing but most of it feels run-of-the-mill with superficial characteristics to help you know who everyone is.

The most embarrassing of this films archetypes is Tim Roth who plays a sleazy New York detective like cartoon characters are known for playing such a person. It's all there. The posture. The need to constantly be leaning on something while asking questions. Never forget the cop moustache. 

I suppose Richard Gere does enough with this character to make him believable. I don't think he's supposed to be likeable and he's not. The script by Nicholas Jareki is solid but his direction or the actors don't ever manage to make his characters feel unique -except for the casting of Brit Marling as Miller's daughter and business partner.  

What really stands out about this film is that its protagonist is a fraudulent rich businessman who is getting away with terrible things. The movie's passage is focused on him so if we're going to root for someone, it's this asshole. Why not?  

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