Arbitrage (2012) Directed by Nicholas Jarecki. With Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling and Tim Roth.
Written and directed by exciting young talent Nicholas Jarecki, Arbitrage tells the story of a billionaire, and, as he says in an early scene – “life catching up”.
The first thing that leaps out is the richness and quality of Jarecki’s film. Without any hesitation, we’re introduced to Richard Gere’s character Robert Miller, a man so wealthy he’s almost transcended the value of money…almost. We know from Gere’s track record, that he has the pedigree to play these kind of roles, but this is no Pretty Woman. This is the story of a man clinging desperately to everything he holds dear, at a time in his life when he should be sitting back and enjoying his accomplishments.
Gere’s performance is beautifully supported by Susan Sarandon and Brit Marling, playing wife and daughter respectively. Both actresses achieve a lot with limited roles and it’s through them that the humanity of this billionaire playboy is forced out of hiding.It speaks volumes of Jarecki’s ability, that he’s able to pull together such an impressive cast for his feature-length debut. True, the film is mostly defined by the strength of its performances, but it’s also confidently handled with sharp attention to the finest detail.
Essentially, this is the story of a privileged man whose world is beginning to cave in. Juggling financial dealings with public relations and paternal responsibility, Richard Gere is compelling throughout. The story itself might not have what it takes to make anyone’s best-of-all-time lists, but it’s hard to find fault when the acting and direction are this good. 4/5