Oscar bait for Richard Gere, a likeable Bernie Madoff-type
Make it two years in a row that two of the finest tales of Wall Street corruption comes from first-time directors. Last year, it was J.C. Chandor’s “Margin Call” and this year it’s Nicholas Jarecki’s Arbitrage.
63 year old Richard Gere , who never turns in a bad performance, gives what could be a career-best and definitely worthy of an Oscar nom as a dirty but elegant mogul who just lost 400-mil in a bad investment. As he scrambles to save his empire , his life is also uprooted by a private , tragic scandal. Gere often makes his Bernie Madoff type sympathetic and even likeable- no small fete.
Equally as impressive: Susan Sarandon as a society wife who turns out to be even craftier than her hubby. Plus she shows real class. Nate Parker is outstanding as the son of the family chauffer who is corralled into helping the mogul when he can turn to no one else. Tim Roth completes the stellar cast as the NYPD detective who tries to nail the mogul.
This financial thriller/character portrait is juicy, taut and really has it all, despite a poorly chosen title that’s understood mostly by those in the financial biz.