Monday, 18 November 2013


2013, 15, Directed by Nicholas Jarecki  
Starring: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling


Nicholas Jarecki’s audacious debut Arbitrage (the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets - no, I had no idea what it meant either) stars Richard Gere as hedge fund business magnate Robert Miller, a ruthless chancer who makes one error too many in the midst of making a vital sale of his trading empire. Surrounded by wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon,) daughter Brooke (Brit Marling,) and a savvy detective sniffing around his dealings (a smarmy Tim Roth,) Gere impressively juggles Miller’s descent with a much-missed charisma akin to roles from yesteryear. It is to the actor’s credit that you sympathise with a character who, when stripped back, is a quite detestable money-obsessed crook. First-timer Jarecki (who not only directs, but writes an accessibly bold script) has dealt a well-created character, translating him to screen with relative success. However, Arbitrage – as beautiful as it looks (props to cinematographer Yorick La Saux) – remains hollow behind the eyes, the film reverting to the ways of its protagonist by providing an ambiguity over its final moments that dishonours most of the material that has come before it.