Arbitrage

12 Oct

Synopsis:  Nicholas Jarecki makes his directorial debut with this taut and alluring suspense thriller about love, loyalty, and high finance. Arbitrage buying low and selling high depends on a person’s ability to determine the true value of any given market. It’s a talent that has made billionaire hedge fund magnate Robert Miller the very portrait of success in American business. But on the eve of his sixtieth birthday, Miller finds himself desperately trying to sell his trading empire to a major bank before the extent of his fraud is discovered. When an unexpected bloody error challenges his perception of what things are worth, Miller finds that his business is not the only thing hanging in the balance.

CAST

Richard Gere……………………………………………………..Robert Miller

Susan Sarandon…………………………………………………….Ellen Miller

Brit Marling……………………………………………………….Brooke Miller

Tim Roth…………………………………………….Detective Michael Bryer

Laetitia Casta………………………………………………………….Julie Cote

Nate Parker………………………………………………………..Jimmy Grant

Review:  In his directorial debut Nicolas Jarecki puts together a tight, suspenseful, thriller.  The film is not only a throwback to the Hitchcock way of story telling but also reflects the Bernie Madoff’s of our modern society. The question becomes can billionaire investor Robert Miller, played by Richard Gere, get away with manipulating the books to make a 415 million dollar mistake disappear while not being accused for his involvement in an accidental murder on the eve of his corporation being sold?

The drama centers around the Robert Miller’s family run firm,  Miller’s daughter Brooke, played by Brit Marling is the firm’s chief accountant and the first to notice the 400 million dollar discrepancy in the books. Robert Miller of course has a second set of books and dismisses his daughter’s accusations by telling her this can’t be I’ll have to check in to this. The reason for the cooked books is to show the firm, which is about to buy him out, that everything is OK and they will pass all the Wall Street compliance rules.

Miller is also a philanderer, his much put upon wife, played by Susan Sarandon puts up with it by convincing herself this is just part of who her husband is. She is content to spearhead her charities  and live the life of mother and corporate housewife.  It is obvious that Robert Miller cares only for himself and his firm and has little feeling for his family or the consequence of his behavior.

Julie Cote, played by Laetitia Casta, Miller’s lover owns an art gallery set up by Miller Investments. She also lives in a corporate apartment owned by Miller’s firm.  On the eve of the corporate buy out  Miller and Cote have a tryst that ends up in a deadly car accident with Miller falling asleep at the wheel.  Not wanting to be caught, Miller leaves the scene of the accident with his dead girlfriend in the car. We see the car explode in flames as he walks to a pay phone, not wanting a trace on his cell, and calls a family friend to come and get him. The friend is Jimmy Grant the son of his former personal driver. Jimmy comes out of loyalty to Miller.

The police arrive and from the get-go Police Detective Michael Bryer, played by Tim Roth, is out to incarcerate Miller with any means at his disposal. Roth plays hard-boiled and frustrated to the hilt.

Gere is cold and calculating and plays the part with precision. Susan Sarandon plays her role with conviction, when she learns the facts, her disillusionment is real and telling.  Brit Marling plays the trusting daughter and her feelings of being betrayed are palpable. Marling has to navigate between love for her father and her duty to turn him in for fraud. Laetitia  Casta has very little to do here but serve the role as lover, which she does. Nate Parker is the breakout star here and plays Jimmy Grant the possible fall guy for Miller. He holds in his hands the confession that would convict Miller.

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