The Best Actor race is getting crowded this week, with Tommy Lee Jones in Hope Springs and now, Richard Gere in Arbitrage. The timely pic is a chilling illustration of the way powerful people use other people to get what they want out of life and usually win. The screenplay is flawless; no character gets the short shrift. Every line crackles with Mamet-like intensity. It will surely be among the best original screenplays this year.
The film feels particularly poignant now, with an election that is positioning the rich against the middle class. In Arbitrage, integrity — laid squarely on the antihero (Richard Gere) — is conquered by the better game. Because the script is played out like a chess game, every move is deliberate. I love movies like this because I know that a couple more viewings will reveal patterns I missed the first time.