Written and directed by 25 year-old Nicholas Jarecki, Arbitrage is a compelling thriller about the rise and near-downfall of hedge fund magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere, nominated Best Actor at the Golden Globes 2013). Also starring Susan Sarandon as Robert Miller’s wife, Ellen, and Tim Roth as Detective Michael Bryer, Arbitrage is a rather fast-paced depiction of when wealth just isn’t enough.
The audience is first introduced to Robert on the eve of his 60th birthday, and lulled into believing he is a thriving all-American family man, virtuous and capable of juggling his wife and kids as successfully as he does his soaring business. However, behind the triumphant man is Julie (Laetitia Casta), his beautiful, artistic French mistress – a woman he would just about risk everything for, except his family and his business.
Robert is trying to sell his business for multi-millions, a feat which is proving difficult as the finances don’t seem to add up. Luckily (or unluckily) for Robert, his astute daughter Brooke (Brit Marling) is on the case – though this has negative consequences for both father and daughter, with a series of knock-on effects for Julie as well. Detective Bryer subsequently goes straight for Robert in an attempt to bring him and his empire down.
Arbitrage provides the perfect degree of intensity. Richard Gere’s convincing portrayal of the eternally dissatisfied Robert aptly justifies his Best Actor nomination. The torment the character endures while his company is at the brink of legal crisis is mirrored in the eyes of his doting wife and daughter and has the audience struggling with conflicted feelings of sympathy for the man about to lose everything.
Aided by unlikely ally Jimmy Grant (Nate Parker), a black kid from Harlem who is connected to Robert through his past, the film comes to a climatic end with a fairly predictable conclusion.
Jarecki has done a superb job with Arbitrage, and brings together quality acting and a tense storyline with excellent results. Well worth watching!
Arbitrage is released nationwide on 1st March 2013.
Watch the trailer for Arbitrage here: