Arbitrage

  • Year:2012
  • Rating:MA
  • Director:Nicholas Jarecki
  • Cast:Richard Gere, Brit Marling, Tim Roth, Susan Sarandon
  • Release Date:September 27, 2012
  • Distributor:Madman
  • Running time:107 minutes
  • Film Worth:$15.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Richard Gere is in top form in this smart, layered and thrilling financial drama.

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The Global Financial Crisis looms over Nicholas Jarecki’s extremely confident debut feature (as director and writer), but Arbitrage is not about the crisis; rather, it’s a much more intimate financial thriller than, say, Margin Call. Richard Gere, always at his best when given an expensive suit, high status and a major crisis, is in his element here as Robert Miller, a billionaire Manhattan hedge-fund CEO whose world spins out of control over the course of a few days. The stakes are high: besides possibly going to jail, he risks losing his fortune; the love of his daughter, Brooke (relative newcomer, Brit Marling, is excellent); and his long-standing marriage to Ellen (Susan Sarandon, who seems to have stopped ageing at fifty).

The intricate, richly detailed screenplay is full of surprises, smart dialogue, and intriguing minor characters, and manages to be smart and adult while still making all the financial stuff comprehensible. Manhattan is shot stunningly by Yorick Le Saux, making the most of a mid-level budget with actual locations such as The Four Seasons, The Plaza and The GM Building, with the whole thing looking as cashed-up as its protagonist. There’s excellent support work from Chris Eigeman (where’s he been hiding for the last decade?), Stuart Margolin, and newcomer, Nate Parker, as well as surprising turns from William Friedkin (yes, that William Friedkin) and Vanity Fair Editor-In-Chief, Graydon Carter, bringing the upper-crust New York vibe as authentically as anyone can. The one disappointment is Tim Roth as a dogged detective; Jarecki, a self-confessed massive fan of Roth’s, allows him to shuffle, hunch and otherwise deliver a completely mannered performance that seems to be based on Peter Falk’s Columbo. Luckily, it doesn’t derail this highly intelligent film.

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