Arbitrage

Last Updated: March 18, 2013By Tags: , ,

There’s been talk about Richard Gere’s performance possibly getting an Oscars nod but after just seeing Jack Black in “Bernie” and considering Daniel Day Lewis’s “Lincoln” is coming out soon it’s hard to get overly excited about Gere.

He plays Robert Miller a hedge fund C.E.O. attempting to merge his company with a large public bank while hiding the fact that he’s lost nearly all of his money in an investment deal. But this is only the beginning of walls that are about to close in. Eventually he is involved in a car accident which kills his mistress (Laetitia Casta), putting the contemptuous gumshoe Bryer (Tim Roth) on the trail of Jimmy (Nate Parker), the son of Robert’s former chauffeur and his getaway driver on the night in question. Robert’s daughter (Brit Marling) has also discovered that the company’s books are cooked.

Nicholas Jarecki’s film is neither a character study of a man manipulating the system nor a thriller about how to evade capture: it rests some place in between. The first half centers on an audit of Robert’s company—hardly edge-of-your-seat stuff—and disagreements with his mistress who wants him to leave his wife (Susan Sarandon) when we already know he won’t. The second half gets a little better but not by much. The cops seem to treat the murder case as open and shut, there’s no real investigation or much for Miller to do. In fact it becomes Jimmy’s movie instead of Robert’s, the “will he or wont he flip on Robert” question providing the only real suspense.

Gere is his usual slick and handsome self, the very face of corporate America—not terribly interesting. I always enjoy watching Roth on screen however, his uncouth speech and body language a stuck-up middle finger to jerks like Miller everywhere.

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