October 18, 2012
"Arbitrage" — "When elephants dance the grass gets trampled"*
I watched this movie last night on Apple TV and it was worth every penny of the $6.99 I paid to rent it.
Apple TV works: every time, without hiccups, never a glitch.
The 1080p picture and surround sound are flawless.
But I digress.
The movie is your typical early 21st-century glimpse of life in the private jet/Maybach lane (first close look I've had at Mercedes' mid-six-figure white elephant... erm... both outside and in — looks like a sweet ride... but I digress yet again), with Master of the Universe Richard Gere in the saddle and Susan Sarandon (is it just me or does Mila Kunis more and more resemble her?), Tim Roth, Brit Marling, Nate Parker, Reg. E. Cathey, et al. in his posse.
The only jarring note: Laetitia Casta, playing Gere's secret not-so-secret piece of crumpet: she simply can't act.
But that's not why she got the part, is it?
Where was I?
Oh, yeah, car parts.
The movie hinges on a terrible event that Gere tries to cover up, with exquisitely nuanced consequences.
What makes the film so absorbing is the level of the three-dimensional chess game Gere plays as he juggles his imploding commodities bet gone south, the possibility of life in the slammer as a result of the fraud he's perpetrated to keep things under wraps, his betrayal of his wife, son, and beloved daughter who works as his hedge fund's controller, his involvement in a separate criminal act and cover-up, and the fact that he puts his life in the hands of a street punk whose father worked for Gere for 20 years and who gets pressured big-time by the police to rat on Gere or himself get decades in prison.
So subtle is the hinge-point of the plot that I didn't realize till I woke up this morning thinking about it that I hadn't fully understood the ambiguity at the heart of the punk's dilemma — facing enormous pressure from both Gere and the heat, with Gere trying to buy him off with a combination of a plea to remember how well he took care of both his deceased father in life and the punk son after his death plus a multi-million dollar trust fund and the police drilling down into his fear of going to state prison by making up their own case as they go along, with no holds barred when it comes to putting paid to the rules of evidence.
A thoroughly enjoyable 107 minutes.
October 18, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Arbitrage" — "When elephants dance the grass gets trampled"*:
I never noticed Ms. Sarandon's stirrups.
Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Oct 18, 2012 11:23:11 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.