WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A hedge-fund tycoon (Richard Gere) who’s embroiled in some dirty dealings, finds his whole world spinning out of control after a deadly accident forces him to turn to an unlikely friend for help.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
A lot of folks figured Richard Gere was a lock for his first-ever best actor nomination at the Oscars this year, but alas it was not meant to be. However, since premiering at Sundance 2012- almost exactly a year ago, ARBITRAGE has proven to be a real breakout hit- as far as the new world of VOD goes. It not only broke VOD records, but it also had a very successful art-house theatrical run, proving- like the similarly themed MARGIN CALL that even if a movie comes out on VOD- it can still do quite well as a theatrical. If only the company behind GET THE GRINGO was as adventurous.
I’d wager that Richard Gere’s superb performance is what really put the film over as- truth be told, I wasn’t overly wild about it when I saw it at Sundance last year. Part of it- namely, the hedge-fund, financial wheeling and dealing angle was utterly fascinating, and made for a superbly entertaining drama. Too bad that a murder-mystery is shoehorned into the film- diminishing the best part of the film, and turning it into a kind of hybrid of MARGIN CALL/film noir, that’s not entirely successful.
Still, while I had issues with ARBITRAGE, it can’t be denied that chunks of the film are gripping, and the Gere gives the performance of his career in the tailor-made lead role. Even if you’re only a casual fan of his, you’d be well advised to check him out in this- proving that while many actors get lazy with age, in Gere getting older seems to have made him a better actor.
As far as extras go, there’s a solid commentary track from director Nicholas Jarecki, who seems to know more than his share about the world of finance. There’s also two featurettes - one a standard “behind the scenes”, the second focusing on the inner world of the protagonist. The extras are rounded out by ten minutes of deleted scenes .
ARBITRAGE would have certainly been better without the murder-mystery angle (although Tim Roth is great as the detective investigating the case), but there’s enough about the film that’s gripping to make it a worthwhile watch. As for Gere- he’s superb, and I hope we get more top-notch performances like this out of him in the future.