Arbitrage (2012) – Webster’s Dictionary defines arbitrage as “the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of securities or foreign exchange in different markets to profit from price discrepancies.”
For multi-millionaire Robert Miller (Richard Gere), he lives his life as one colossal, high-stakes arbitrage.
As the owner of a sizable NYC hedge fund company, even the smallest of Robert’s decisions generate tremendous waves for both people within his direct sphere of influence and unbeknownst to him.
In writer/director Nicholas Jarecki’s thriller, he deals with Robert’s transactions, one that need to fit perfectly, or our lead’s life will not just fall apart but crumble into dust.
One purchase deals with an overseas investment, and one sale is with his own company, but the other arrangements are with human beings in his personal life. They interwine themselves and begin choking Robert with an emblematic noose.
Jarecki throws the audience in the middle of Robert’s claustrophobic predicament, and the director’s cinematic liberties deliberately torture us.
Meanwhile, Gere is so effective as a suave, smarmy socialite businessman who attempts to cover up his misdeeds with charm and smooth talk.
As his gilded world – of private planes, limousines, and a beautiful, supportive family – shifts underneath his feet, he changes his tactics but in other cases, sticks to the plan to avoid falling into the abyss. Most of us would crack under the tremendous stress, but Robert keeps up assured appearances in almost all cases.
The Hollywood Foreign Press nominated Gere for a Golden Globe for Best Actor for this performance. The Academy should have offered him a Best Actor Oscar nom in a movie that perfectly plays into the war of two ideas: the rich have the cards stacked in their favor versus no matter how wealthy you are, karma will catch up with you.
Which one do you buy? Which one do you sell?
⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Directed and written by: Nicholas Jarecki
Starring: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth, Bruce Altman, and Nate Parker
Runtime: 107 minutes
Image credits: Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions