Monday, September 17, 2012
MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Arbitrage
"Arbitrage" is a firecracker of a film. It puts the "thrill" in thriller. Intense from start to finish, it's like a taut rubber band waiting to pop. The smart, tight screenplay had my heart racing for the whole duration of the film. It moves at such a brisk pace, you would almost think you were watching an action movie. The plot surrounds a prominent hedge fund magnate Robert Miller who is simultaneously dealing with a financial crisis and a catastrophic accent, both with serious implications. As Miller, Richard Gere is absolutely riveting, taking us through the tribulations of a man teetering on the edge of destruction. At any point in the film you know that his secrets could be blown wide open. Gere really portrays the turmoil well, pulling off a performance that is both internally smoldering and outwardly expressive. You can sense that he's constantly on the verge of imploding. His actions have dire consequences for him, his family and others involved. In other words, this man is in some deep s***. This character won’t go down without a fight though, despite all the suspicions that implicate him. It’s a firm reminder that when it comes to rich people, the standard rules of justice don’t really apply.
What further keeps this movie so gripping is the strong ensemble supporting Gere all the way. As the 3 persons most affected by Gere’s predicament, Susan Sarandon, Nate Parker and Brit Marling dig into this screenplay with fierce commitment. Their acting really showcases not only their talents, but the high quality of the script. It’s clear that this director has a strong grasp of the subject matter. What a stunning debut for Nicholas Jarecki.