Richard Gere gives a stunning performance in Arbitrage, a drama of lies and hypocrisy and their effects on family ties and relationships in the world of rich finance.
Successful hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is at his prime. Or that is how he seems to everyone else. Wealth and a devoted family including a loyal but oblivious wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon) and a beloved daughter Brooke (Brit Marling), he has it all. In fact, he has more than he needs with French mistress Julie Cote (Laetetia Casta). To keep this facade up, he will just have to sell off his sandcastle business before it gets exposed with the help of an expected young man Jimmy Grant (Nate Parker).
Gere's acting makes his character more human, likable and even understandable than he really is, even as his lying and philandering ways are revealed to the audience. He fleshes out his character of both faces: first as a loving father and a businessman who cares about his investors, and second as a liar and a philanderer who has sinned knowingly on several levels. The veteran actor's performance holds the entire film together and moves it along.
The film is not based on fresh premises but the tension built from stellar performances and a well-paced script leaves audience with the intended effect of pondering on our love-hate relationship with wealth and just how much one may go to attaining it.