ARBITRAGE tells a very classic story in the midst of a very current setting. Writer/director Nicholas Jarecki's narrative feature debut places itself in the crumbling financial empire of hedge funds, centering on a very successful money manager, Rober Miller (Richard Gere). While the script has the usual Wall Street jargon it allows the viewer to follow along. Like one of last year's best films, MARGIN CALL you understand what's happening on screen while the dialogue does not appear to dumb down the financial speak. The film is smart without being elitist and its this approach of understanding what you previously didn't that allows Jarecki to pull you in from the start.
As these scenes begin we get the explicit sense that Miller has been involved in countless shady business dealings and secretive transactions in order to build his hedge fund empire. He’s so good at hiding all of this to outsiders that not even his wife (played by Susan Saradon) and daughter have any idea about his dubious ways. As the completion of a deal for a bank purchase of his company is near, Miller must make sure the agreement is finalized before any hint of his monetary indiscretions surfaces. Miller suddenly finds himself in even deeper trouble when he and his high maintenance mistress are in a car accident that leaves her dead. Instead of dealing with the situation, MIller leaves the crime scene. As the financial deal begins to fall through and the NYPD are on his trail Miller must get the help from dangerous people of his past he thought he’d never see again.
Jarecki immerses you into his slick, taut thriller early on by injecting the film with controlled, calculated tension. And Gere absolutely dominates the screen as Miller, a guy you somehow find yourself secretly rooting for even when you know all the terrible things he has done. Part social commentary of the Wall Street way of life, part suspense tale ARBITRAGE is great entertainment from a gifted new filmmaker. You can check it out starting Friday, September 14th at our South Lamar and Slaughter Lane locations. (RJ LaForce)
Here's what top critics around the nation are saying about ARBITRAGE:
“We may have seen elements of this scenario before, but the young writer-director Nicholas Jarecki, making his first feature, proves himself a master craftsman with a core of moral indignation. He knows how to make a gripping thriller, so well-constructed I felt urgently involved. It tells a story rather than relying on third-act action. It is in a classic tradition. Hitchcock called his most familiar subject 'The Innocent Man Wrongly Accused.' Jarecki pumps up the pressure here by giving us a Guilty Man Accurately Accused, and that's what makes the film so ingeniously involving.” –Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“Gere has never been more likable or alive on screen. His friendly dry charm works for the film in fascinating ways…Arbitrage doesn't turn its issues into a glorified essay, but it does use them to give the audience a vital emotional workout. Jarecki, it's clear, has the talent to make shrewdly pleasurable Hollywood movies. Here's hoping Arbitrage is the first of many.” –Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Gere is the centerpiece in 'Arbitrage'…[he] delivers one of his most quick-witted performances; if it were any less astute, in fact, you'd be rooting for his character's violent comeuppance 30 seconds into the picture.” –Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune