Brian Henry Martin at the movies

Top Gere

Published Thursday, 28 February 2013
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He's been An Officer And A Gentleman, An American Gigolo and Mr Pretty Woman, now Richard Gere is back in a smart and stylish thriller, Arbitrage.

And Hollywood's silver fox reminds us that's he's not just a pretty face or the world's most famous Buddhist but a great screen actor.

Gere plays ice cool Robert Miller, a hedge fund magnate who appears to have everything but is on the verge of losing it all. Gambling his future in a dangerous game of love, loyalty and high finance.

We meet Miller with his head in the clouds, travelling back to New York in his private jet. Well, where else would a high flyer do business? He's running late for his own 60th birthday party, with barely time to blow out the candles. Robert Miller adorns the front cover of Forbes magazine and appears the very portrait of success in American business and family life.

But this lone shark has become unstuck. Behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is in over his head, desperately trying to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before the depths of his fraud are revealed. Struggling to conceal his deceit from his wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon) and heir-apparent daughter Brooke (Brit Marling), Miller's also balancing an affair with French art-dealer Julie Côte (Laetitia Casta).

Just as he's about to unload his troubled empire, a shocking twist turns his world upside down. Suddenly the man who's always late is now running on borrowed time. One wrong turn after another ignites the suspicions of NYPD Detective Michael Bryer (Tim Roth), who will stop at nothing in his pursuits.

Miller is forced to confront the limits of even his own moral duplicity. "Do you want to be the richest man in the cemetery?" His wife asks him. But will he make it out before not just the stocks crash but his whole world comes crashing down?

Gere has always been a captivating screen presence and, as this sharp dressed man, he is perfectly cast. His silver locks gleam throughout like the shimmering skyscrapers of lower Manhattan. Gere's cool persona delivers a polished iceberg of a performance with much more going on beneath the surface. We should hate this greedy, selfish financier, but we don't because he skilfully seduces us to care.

Arbitrage is a very impressive first film from New York writer/ director Nicholas Jarecki, who with a great cast delivers a sophisticated tense thriller. But it is Gere who steals the show. At one point, his character Robert Miller quotes American author Mark Twain "Age is an issue of mind over matter" he says, "If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

It certainly doesn't matter when it comes to Richard Gere who, at 63, is better than ever. As an actor, he's had more comebacks than most boxers. Every ten years, with a Pretty Woman, or a Chicago or now with an Arbitrage, he reminds us that he is a star performer.

Enjoy him shine.

Arbitrage (Cert 15) is released on Friday 1st March.

© UTV News
B. H. Martin
B. H. Martin

Brian Henry Martin is an accomplished documentary filmmaker and UTV's resident film critic, appearing regularly on UTV Live Tonight.

No matter what the film, there's a good chance Brian has seen it.


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