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"Arbitrage" Review

Richard Gere scored a Golden Globe nomination and was talked up for an Oscar nom (but is unlikely to get it due to a tough year) for Arbitrage, a movie that fell through the cracks because it sounds like a Wall Street financial movie and not what it's more closely related to: The Bonfire of the Vanities. (The awesome book, not the craptastic movie.)

Gere is a investment wizard with what appears to be a great life, great wealth, and a great family. Under the surface, he's got a French mistress and a $416 million problem in the form of shady financial dealings that he's desperately trying to square away by selling his firm. Unfortunately for him (and especially the mistress), he's involved in terrible auto accident which leaves him badly banged up and his girlfriend dead. With the police hot on the trail, trying to tie him to the crime, will he be able to save the important things in his world?

Gere is very good, though it's odd to see him playing his age (his character is 60) and Susan Sarandon as his wife is lively as she plays something other than an earthy aging hippie as she's done a lot lately. Brit Marling (the writer and star of Another Earth) plays Gere's daughter who is appalled at what she discovers the old man has been doing, but while she gets a good confrontation scene, the tepid denouement after the main plots are wrapped up doesn't give her the punchline it feels like she deserves.  Not as good is Tim Roth doing a caricatured take on a detective that feels like it should be in a 2nd-rate Law & Order knockoff.

Overall, the performances make the material seem better than it is while it's rolling by, but afterwards you'll realize that Arbitrage never quite leveraged its assets for maximum return.

Score: 6/10. Catch it on cable.


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