Saturday, September 15, 2012

Arbitrage


The problem with being at the top of the world is that you've got nowhere to go but down.  Richard Gere plays a man who seems to have it all.  He's rich, very successful in business, has the perfect wife (played by Susan Sarandon) and the perfect daughter (played by 'Another Earth' and 'Sound of My Voice' star Brit Marling).  But when things start to unravel in various ways, as they tend to do in life, he does whatever he needs to do to protect all that he has. 

On the surface, this just seems to be another story about an overprivileged man who thinks he can do whatever he wants without any consequences.  Perhaps a poor man's 'Wall Street'?  But it's better than that.  It's an easy, fun watch with top notch actors and some very enjoyable moments.  Now in his 60's, Gere is at the top of his game, giving a really good performance here. (Of course he's no match for Michael Douglas' Gordon Gecco, though they do both have incredible heads of hair.)

The film premiered at Sundance this year, but it's much more mainstream than most of the films that play there, and it's very accessible to a wide audience.  It really should have gotten a wider theatrical release.  It's an impressive film for a first time narrative feature writer/director, but in the hands of someone more experienced, many of its best moments might have been even Oscar worthy.  They're not as it stands, but it's still worth recommending.  And best of all, you can watch it in theaters or in the privacy of your own home on demand.  Love that.

Grade: A

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