Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Arbitrage": Richard Gere's Amoral Hero Walks a Moral Tightrope 

Wednesday, Sep 12 2012
Comments

Slick and grown-up as Richard Gere himself, this intricate fiscal thriller takes a bead on extreme privilege, with Gere's Madoff-like billionaire fund-runner scrambling to keep his personal empire from crumbling. He has everything, including a loving family, a hot French girlfriend (Laetitia Casta) and that warm umber lighting only the wealthy can afford, until he doesn't — with the sale of his company for nine figures already jeopardized by cooked books, a car wreck and warm corpse get him scrambling one step ahead of the cops. Director Nicholas Jarecki (of those Jareckis) slices his cake and has it, too: We bizarrely empathize with the amoral hero's stressed-out tightrope walk, wanting him to get away with being an untouchable plutocratic scumbag, while the film simultaneously limns the rank injustices money can buy in bulk. Everything, as the title suggests, is negotiable. In fact, sometimes Jarecki's ethical needle wavers and seems to side with Gere's weasel, but that might be because the actor (looking by now like the squinty twin of Bill Maher) is so convincing, and the safety net of supporting perfs around him (wife Susan Sarandon, lawyer Stuart Margolin, Harlem innocent Nate Parker) is so tight. Tim Roth, as a mannered Columbo-ish detective, might seem out of place, but otherwise, the movie has the vibrations of firsthand knowledge.

About The Author

Michael Atkinson

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"