Arbitrage

September 30, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Posted in 2012 | Leave a comment
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You could be forgiven for wondering how you have never heard of this big Fall Oscar-bait of a movie starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth. It certainly seems like the type of film whose previews play on every station and in every theater for 2 months before it premieres.  Yet, for reasons I am unclear on, this one has had a positively indie release with scarcely a drop of advertising.  Which is funny because this film is anything but indie.  It follows the misdeeds of venture capitalist Robert Miller (Richard Gere) as he tries to simultaneously close a sale, keep folks from finding out he cooked the books and avoid a homicide cop (Tim Roth) who is hot on his trail.  Unlike many recent films I’ve seen, the plot is absolutely linear (without so much as a flashback or dream sequence) and every artistic decision (from dialogue to cinematography to musical score) seems to be as mainstream Hollywood as possible.  That said, Gere is devilish fun to watch, if you like rooting for the devil, that is.  He is in his element as the leading man and looks to be perfectly comfortable with the role of the audiences tour guide.  The dialogue can be snappy and fun, with Sarandon having the privilege of giving the movie’s zinger come-to-jesus speech (and she spits out every line of that speech with relish, perhaps attempting to make up for her somnambulance through much of the rest of the film).   Also, the plot moves quickly along, never boring the viewer who is just looking for some entertainment in the sub-genre that I might call thriller-lite.  If you want depth and insight, art, truth or the thought-provoking, then I might suggest something else; “The Master” perhaps.

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