Saturday, November 30, 2013
Written & Directed By: Nicholas Jarecki
Cinematography By: Yorick Le Saux
Editor: Douglas Crise
Cast: Richard Gere, Nate Parker, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth, Laetitia Casta, Stuart Margolin, Chris Eigeman, Graydon Carter, Larry Pine, Bruce Altman
Robert Miller is a successful financial businessman with a loving wife and a smart daughter ready to take over the family business. Professional secrets involving illegal fraudulent activities start coming out at the same time that Robert's personal secrets take a turn for the worse and threaten to derail everything he has achieved.
Richard Gere over the years has never really gotten the respect he deserves. He has the distinction of being a movie star and the fame and some of the baggage that comes with it. He has played many roles over his career with range limited as it maybe still at least he tries and appears to give his all. Though is rarely noted or given credit for his performances. I will admit they aren't show stoppers and in today's world only excellence is rewarded. Though e has remained satisfactory over the decades he has never been given the respect he deserves. I also have a belief that might have to do More with his looks the. Anything else as he is handsome and a heartthrob with natural charisma. Who rarely takes high profile roles and is more content in popcorn potboilers then anything of any real substance it seems. Though there is the rare film where he seems to take chances this is one of them. I like to think of George Clooney as the modern Richard Gere. Only Clooney seems to take more chances and be more pop avant-garde. Humorously he was a last minute replacement for Al Pacino
In fact I would say Richard Gere comes off as a less smarmy and more delicate Michael Douglas. With Gere he is more subtle and never see it Coming with Mr. Douglas you know an can see it coming. Though I could also see Michael Douglas in this role he wouldn't surprise to as much as Richard Gere does.
Mr. Gere seems able to morph his looks into believable characters who use looks, personality and charm to their advantage. Here he does the same but this film while compelling is also a showcase for his talents. As even at his characters worse decisions and attitude that are reprehensible you still like him and kind of want him to get away with his actions.
The film for all it's thrills and actions is more of a Character study and an examination of morals and wealth. At times the film lays it on thick, with all these things happening to this character at the same time. It is for dramatic tension as like dominoes one situation leads or affects the other(s) yet it always keeps you Interested. Though at times it threatens to fall head first into melodrama. It saves itself many times.
This film feels like the type the late Sidney Lumet might have made today. Though I believe he would have made the story more sympathetic around the poor pawns more than the elite rich, then again he was more of an actor's director and would have kept a spotlight certainly on the star as the anchor
It's nice to see an adult serious drama/ thriller in this day and age. That doesn't lean so much on genre, action, sci-fi nor centered around twenty something's who act as If the decisions they make will totally ruin their future. It has an audience in mind instead of a target or demographic.
It's nice to see Susan Sarandon though at times I get tired of seeing her as the only older actress studio films seem to use. Like they are afraid to give others work and while She has name recognition and has seemed to Corner the market on older female roles. (other than Meryl Streep but Streep rarely takes only supporting roles) it is distressing to see her in roles that more amount to Bit roles or cameos. Here She toe scenes that ate good with any meat on them Other than that she is in the background Barely. It feels like she is diluting her market value and cheapening her talent to a degree.
Nate Parker does well with so little in his role, though he is the moral center he manages to create a believable full blooded character. Who we barely get to know and are told more about lt, then see when it comes to his past. Though his scenes are brief and with very little dialogue. The pressure is mostly on his character. He was a last minute replacement for Rapper Drake in this film.
This film feels like a season of a show like DAMAGES. The film feels like it has a season full of stories with reveals and side plots. That could have easily explored characters and plots on their own seperately leaving the film to go in many directions that luckily the filmmakers choose the right ones to follow. Though any of the others I'm sure would have been satisfying. But it shows how much wealth of material this film has.
It gets a bit of too much with a scene near the end when the lead is the person who figured a scheme Out of nowhere. It is a bit too much to take as this character has been through so much and then becomes the smartest person on the room to genius detective. If any of the other characters had been the one to do this it would have been fine.
I was shocked at how captivated the film kept me throughout.
I can't say I identify with the movie or any of the characters. I found it a fun trip inside of the characters psyche and the world he travels in.
By the end of the film the message seems to be though wealth always prospers above all and can let you Get away with almost anything. You Will have to pay and is It worth it
A satisfying addition to the home library.