Richard Gere is the ideal actor play the character of Robert Miller, a seemingly succesful owner of a venture capital firm on the brink of being sold. His portrayal is about as credible a performance as you’ll ever see. Gere is the right age, has the right looks and obviously understands the nature of the man he is playing.
As the film begins, Miller’s on the brink of big profits from the sale of his company, even though the books have been “cooked” with a $400 million dollar infusion that’s shown as earnings, but is actually a loan that is way past due. The company buying his firm is right on the cusp of signing the deal, but keeps putting things off as a negotiating ploy.
Miller has other secrets too, including a French artist, played by Laetitia Casta, who is his mistress. Miller is paying for her apartment, her gallery and is her biggest customer.
Miller’s wife, played by Susan Sarandon, is the perfect spouse. She ignores his transgressions and dishonesty to keep her life style in tact, until an automobile accident involving a fatality puts all of Miller’s business and personal life in grave jeopardy.
Brit Marling plays Miller’s oldest daughter and a VP in his company who has been kept in the dark about her Dad’s double-dealing until she discovers the issues in the course of doing her work, forcing a showdown with dear old Dad.
Tim Roth plays an NYPD Detective out to pin the fatality in the car accident on Miller. Roth’s character is anxious to bring down a Wall Street big shot.
“Arbitrage” is an engrossing motion picture, honest and hard-hitting that thoroughly involves the audience in Miller’s fight for survival. And even though it’s a fictional account, you can’t help but think that this film is truly art imitating life.