Thursday, September 13, 2012

Arbitrage Movie Review

From our friends at DC Film Review...

Arbitrage: Father Knows Best

It’s been 22 years since Pretty Woman, but Richard Gere shows no signs of relinquishing his unofficial title as one of the coolest guys on the planet. His latest effort, as multi-millionaire hedge fund operator Robert Miller is vintage Gere... Charming, handsome, slightly vulnerable yet in complete control of every room he walks into. Nicholas Jarecki’s mesmerizing drama Arbitrage marries Gere’s impressive skill set with an equally superb cast that includes Brit Marling, Tim Roth, Susan Sarandon and Virginia’s own Nate Parker. The result is nothing short of spectacular.

IMDb Plot: A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.

What’s Good: Arbitrage is chock-full of terrific individual performances; but Gere deserves most of the credit, given his lion’s share of screen time. I can’t think of many guys in Hollywood (Denzel, Jack, perhaps Clooney) that ooze as much cool as People magazine’s 1999 selection for Sexiest Man Alive. Jarecki (who makes his feature directorial debut) keeps things moving and focuses just enough attention on family matters... especially the relationship between Robert and his daughter (Marling.) Gere’s Robert is refreshingly unapologetic, ‘I’m on my own path’ even when it’s clear that he’s wrong.

What’s Not: I’m reaching a bit, but you could argue that Arbitrage takes a while to wrap things up. It still clocks in at a more than respectable 100 minutes, but trimming a couple of minutes towards the end may have made it perfect.

They Said It: The line(s) of the movie is an exchange between Robert and possible fall guy Jimmy (Parker.) Jimmy questions, ‘You think money solves everything?’ to which Miller replies, ‘Doesn’t it?’ This speaks volumes, but even throwaway lines like Sarandon’s ‘Don’t forget to take your Lipitor” carry weight.

What’s the Grade? Entertaining, stylish and timely, Arbitrage avoids the pitfalls that ruin other “one-percenter” films (Cosmopolis anyone?) Seriously, how often do you root for the rich guy who’s cheating everyone around him (including his family?) The police investigation (led by an ├╝ber-convincing Roth) is slickly conceived (with a Presumed Innocent feel) not to mention thought provoking. Robert reminds us, ‘You have to project a successful image.’ Arbitrage does that, and then some.

Grade: B+