Review of Arbitrage


There’s been talk of Richard Gere’s performance possibly getting award recognition, but after just seeing Jack Black in “Bernie” and knowing Daniel Day Lewis is coming soon with “Lincoln”, it’s hard to get too excited about Gere.

He stars as hedge-fund CEO Robert Miller, trying 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 that kills his mistress (Laetitia Casta), putting rich-despising street detective 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 financial balances are being manipulated.

Nicholas Jarecki’s film is neither a character study of a man manipulating the system or a thriller about a man trying to evade capture; it rests some place in between. The first half centers on an audit of Robert’s company, hardly riveting stuff, and problems 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” being the only real suspense.

Gere’s slick and handsome, the very visage of corporate America, but not terribly interesting. I always enjoy Roth though, his uncouth speech and body language a stuck-up middle finger to jerks like Miller everywhere.

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