Silver fox Gere dominates drama

SMOOTH AND SHIFTY: Susan Sarandon and Richard Gere in Arbitrage, written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki.
SMOOTH AND SHIFTY: Susan Sarandon and Richard Gere in Arbitrage, written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki.

M, 1hr 47min
Reviewed by Peter Lampp.

Mature women in our row found Richard Gere utterly gorgeous as shifty hedge-fund manager Robert Miller, even at 63 and without his specs.

Without them he had a rodent-like look which suited the role of a New York billionaire financier whose business and private life threaten to go belly up.

He might be too smooth for most gents, but he superbly portrays a ruthless magnate and the script is excellent. Thank heavens we didn't get a whiff of his cologne.

Arbitrage arrived without any hoopla but was fascinating and the routes it took were far from obvious.

The guts of this gripping drama is that money will get you everywhere, even when you are in over your head. Every employee at Miller Capital is beautiful, every member of his family.

This is private jet stuff, high-paid sleuths, high-powered phone conversations in limousines, massive money deals which go wrong and of course there's a mistress (French actress Laetitia Casta). She is the only character in this movie with imperfect teeth.

But Miller's life gets too complicated for his own good. Inside the home mansion is his wife, played by the always appealing Susan Sarandon (Ellen) and his lovely daughter, Brooke (Brit Maling, of Norwegian descent), who is destined to take over the firm.

In Unfaithful, his wife Diane Lane was the athletic philanderer. This time, even with Sarandon on the home front, Miller has to live up to the rich guy's job description of having a hot bit on the side.

Despite all the class, prolific effing takes place throughout, but that's about it; no violence, no sex. Darn.

There is an acknowledgement of the seedier side when Miller uses a down-but-not-quite-out black guy Jimmy (Nate Parker) and a suitably rough-house New Yoik Detective Bryer (Tim Roth) who is the sole character with his tie askew, the scruff.

Without giving any more away, Miller is one of those coves who could fall down a dunny and come up with his hair as slickly silver as ever.

After 100 minutes, suddenly the Cinema Gold screen went blank. I was about to scuttle out to reception to suggest they glue the tape back together when "The End" appeared. We'd had one of the better thrillers of the year.

Despite all the beauty, it left me happy to be a member of the peasantry.

Manawatu Standard