Thanks to eclipse Pictures and Koch Media I watched a press screening of “Arbitrage” directed by Nicholas Jarecki.
Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is a vastly successful, cover-of-Forbes, Corporate hedge fund Manager. His wife (Susan Sarandon) drops millions to charities as easily as we would leave change on the table. His useless son and sharp witted daughter both work for him and at family gatherings they compare past deals to current ones. It seems we have one big happy corporate family. But this is a Movie so under the surface there are problems, big financial ones and when a traumatic event in his not so smooth personal life threatens his career Miller has to try and strike deals with Corporate colleagues, family, friends and outsiders hence the title.
Despite being in his early 60s (with whipped ice-ream hair) Richard Gere hasn’t quite shaken off his giggidy-gigolo persona. Gere is playing an older version of Edward Lewis (Pretty Woman) who didn’t meet Julia Roberts but instead married his trophy wife. He is trying to be all things to everybody and while he does a fairly competent job the extremes of a loving father, Corporate success and tender lover his Miller didn’t convince me.
Susan Saradon is wasted in a hand full of scenes as his long suffering Corporate widow wife. While Grim Tim Roth is always plausible here he is a typical hard-nosed New York Cop who has it in for the Corporate Biggie.
But if you can overlook the archetypal characters and a few papered over plot cracks director Jarecki makes the rest of the story tight, atmospheric and compelling enough to want to get to the end..
Unless you are a true Richard Gere fan I would suggest you wait until this comes out on DVD, Whipped Gere, Wasted Sarandon and Grim Roth are worth the night in but not a night out.
Arbitrage opens in Ireland on the 1st March.