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Arbitrage

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Arbitrage is as good as it sounds: so sleek it would purr if you stroked it and so cool – in the intelligence of its Aeschylean-lite plot about a financier and his dynasty-fissuring downfall – that it could have a long cryogenic life in some Hollywood laboratory as an example, or frozen Holy Grail, to other film-makers. Gere is matchless in this kind of role. The lacquered crinkle of the smile; the corrugated silk hair; the eyes deep-pouched and glinting like coins in a rich man’s wallet.” – Nigel Andrews, FT ****

“You think money’ll fix it?” asks fall guy Jimmy Grant of his benefactor-cum-bully Robert Miller. “What else is there?” shrugs Miller, neatly summarising the moral core of this riveting thriller. An investment guru awash with guilty secrets, Miller (Richard Gere) is the embodiment of beguiling venality. He’s fighting to sell his tottering company while also avoiding a murder rap, and his wife (a diamond-hard Susan Sarandon) and daughter (Brit Marling) exhibit the same expedient duplicity. Jimmy (Parker), however, unwittingly holds the key to Miller’s fate, and as Miller is pursued by the politically motivated Detective Bryer (Tim Roth, suitably sleazy), his façade of indignant innocence is sorely tested. Jarecki’s debut feature is directed with great assurance and no slack, and basks in Yorick Le Saux’s (I am Love) nouveau noir cinematography. But it’s really Gere’s film: he’s terrific.