Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Nate Parker | R |
Like an anniversary present, Arbitrage arrives 25 years after Wall Street to tell the tale of Robert Miller (Gere), a mogul so dirty, you can almost make out “greed is good” in tiny script pinstriping his bespoke suits. But Arbitrage is no throwback. It creates exquisite tension and thrust by highlighting what has changed in the past quarter century: namely, us regular folk and our tolerance for white-collar creeps.
Though Miller swans around New York pretending he isn’t hiding a $400 million hole in his company’s books, he has even bigger troubles after covering up an accident. So he calls Jimmy Grant (Parker), the son of one of his late employees and the only black guy (or 99 percenter) he knows. The principled Jimmy helps Miller out of loyalty but with a fiery indignation and disgust that’s entirely relatable to anyone enraged by corporate bailouts. Their intertwined fates-and Parker and Gere’s weighty performances-elevate the film as it expertly manipulates us into wanting Miller to get off. But don’t forget about Sarandon, terrific as a society wife who’s far classier than her husband and wilier than she lets on. Maybe what Wall Street really needs is more people like her and Jimmy.
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