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“Arbitrage” is the simultaneous buying and selling of a security at two different prices in two different markets, resulting in profits without risk.” It is NOT illegal and this film does NOT address “arbitrage”.

Predictably, the successful capitalist is untoward, manipulative, earning his ill- gotten wealth, not by skill and ingenuity but subterfuge, fraud. Devastatingly handsome Richard Gere is “Robert Miller”  the “master of the universe” , the “rainmaker”, the hedge-fund king whose “Midas touch” is in jeopardy of turning bronze; Gere imbues the character with enough smarmy charm and sagacity to captivate the viewer.  Reminiscent of “Bonfire of the Vanities” an adulterous affair could result in his undoing; nevertheless a streak of the humane saves “Robert” from drowning in moral turpitude.

A solid supporting cast lend a fragment of legitimacy to “Arbitrage”: Susan Sarandon is “Ellen Miller” the fund-raising, feisty philanthropist,  “turning a blind eye” to Robert’s indiscretions; a wife, not to be taken for granted but to be leery of; Brit Marling portrays Robert’s daughter “Brooke”, bright, naive CFO of the soon to be sold Miller empire; the destruction of her idealism was forecast from the commencement of the scenario. It is the performance of Nate Parker , as the ex-con “Jimmy Grant”, who rescues Robert from a catastrophic collision that gifts the film a level of dignity, integrity; his steely character, true grit, loyalty and obstinacy earn “Arbitrage” an extra star.

In conclusion, there were too many discrepancies. Whose car was involved in the accident? Why did the writers, director misinterpret the true meaning of “arbitrage”?   In the myriad of millionaires, are there any untainted, unscathed, free from illegal guise, graft? Any to be lauded, instead of maligned? If so, instead of being portrayed as evil, avaricious, lacking a moral compass, the blight of the middle class; how refreshing to concentrate on the few and mighty whose talents increase productivity, pay the bulk of tax revenues, empower their foundations to rescue the less fortunate; those who live and recognize “to whom much is given, much is expected”; whether documentary, fable or fiction it would be an interesting diversion from the ubiquitous doses of “the capitalist rogue”.

TWO & 1/2 STARS!!

For Now……….Peneflix

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  1. Sounds fascinating, Peneflix! A helpful introduction to a film we are going to see very soon
    Thanks as always for your thorough and honest reviews
    What would we do without you?

  2. I thought it was a possible but improbable story
    I agree with your critique of left wing media and Hollywood and how they vilanize success
    The movie was entertaining but not very deep and as you said it had nothing to do
    with arbitrage
    Excellent review and once again to the point!
    L and M

    • Yes, you certainly “got it”; I did really like “Jimmy”; only, truly substantive character in the “fairy tale”. Thanks, P.

  3. Great post. I will read your posts frequently. Added you to the RSS reader.

  4. We loved Arbitrage. By the way, the car belonged to the mistress. The movie was well acted and suspenseful. Even though he got away with his crime, he lost his family. I felt the movie created much to discuss, which a good movie does.

    • Of course the car belonged to the mistress; but if the police had half a brain they would have followed the financial paper trail; they knew he was guilty of leaving the scene, but instead “photo shopped” his alibi> Just too flawed especially since the movie had little or nothing to do with “arbitrage”, unless it was totally in reference to his personal relationships. I actually liked that he got away with it and the scene with his rival in the restaurant was stellar.
      Love your insightful comments. P.

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