Richard Gere as Robert Miller
Susan Sarandon as Ellen Miller
Brit Marling as Brooke Miller
Nate Parker as Jimmy Grant
Laetitia Casta as Julie Cote
Tim Roth as Det. Michael Bryer
In theaters September 14
In business, Robert Miller (Gere) is a master. As a hedge fund magnate he knows the art of the deal. That delicate dance of the numbers – the give and take of the negotiation – is how he makes a living for his investors and his firm. He has a loving wife (Sarandon) and family. His daughter Brooke (Marling) helps run the company at his side. Robert also has Julie, a high-strung French artist, for a mistress (Casta).
Robert’s life is a precarious balance between keeping his business profitable, keeping his family life on track, and keeping his temperamental, coke-snorting mistress happy. One evening, after a business meeting that went on too long, Robert goes to see his mistress who is livid that he seemingly blew her off as they were supposed to spend the evening together. He placates her and suggests that they immediately go away together to a place of his upstate; she agrees. While on the way, Robert gets into a crash with deadly consequences. With a bank in negotiations to acquire his firm, Robert is poised to make the biggest deal of his career. Robert calls an old friend, Jimmy (Parker) for help because he can’t be found at the scene of the accident. Nothing can stand in the way of this deal, NOTHING…not even Julie’s accidental death.
As the police begin investigating, Detective Bryer (Roth) makes the connection that there was someone else besides Julie in the car. Eventually the clues lead to Robert, but with no conclusive proof it then becomes a game of cat and mouse between Jimmy, Robert and Detective Bryer to get to the truth. It also becomes more of a balancing act for Robert to keep this incident quiet from his family, while trying to push this acquisition through. But there may be a hitch in this deal, discovered by Brooke, that Robert may have bet money that the firm didn’t actually have and possibly cooked his books to hide. But the deal must go on.
Richard Gere gives a purpose driven performance. It would be easier to portray Robert as a cold, stuffed shirt Wall Street-er who doesn’t give a fig for anyone but himself, but that’s what’s so interesting about this character. He is looking out for his own interests, but we see deep down that he really does want the best for everyone in the given situation. This includes using his resources to do right by Jimmy who is in the cross-hairs of the police and district attorney because of his involvement with the accident. A carefully woven pattern of secrets and lies rules Robert’s life. Will he succeed in keeping them all together or will they tear his carefully ordered life apart?
Hands down, If you like pulse-pounding suspense, Arbitrage has got it. It’s a great film and worth seeing.