Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Nicholas Jarecki|
|Written by||Nicholas Jarecki|
|Music by||Cliff Martinez|
|Cinematography||Yorick Le Saux|
|Edited by||Douglas Crise|
|Box office||$35.5 million|
Arbitrage is a 2012 American thriller drama film directed by Nicholas Jarecki and starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth and Brit Marling. Filming began in April 2011 in New York City. It opened in U.S. theaters in September 2012.
Sixty-year-old magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere) manages a hedge fund with his daughter Brooke (Brit Marling) and is about to sell it for a handsome profit. It's revealed he's having an affair with a much younger woman, gallery owner Julie Cote (Laetitia Casta) who he's also helped financially.
However, unbeknownst to his daughter, wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon) and most of his other employees, Miller has cooked his company's books and borrowed money from an associate in order to cover an investment loss and avoid being arrested for fraud. The associate who lent him $412 million wants to call in the loan, but Miller says he needs the money to stay in his account until the audit for the merger is complete. The company who he's in talks with to purchase his company appears to be stalling the process. They schedule a meeting at a restaurant during which contracts are to be signed, and it's the same night as Julie's gallery show, which Robert has promised to attend. Julie continually texts and calls Miller throughout the meeting, which drags on as they wait for James Mayfield (Graydon Carter) to arrive. When it's clear Mayfield won't be attending the meeting, Robert leaves in disgust, but not before his daughter informs him that she's found some financial discrepancies in old ledgers.
Miller finally goes to Julie's opening, but she tells him to leave. He comes back and they fight, but he asks her to drive her car with him to a place of his upstate, and they leave to do so. When Miller dozes off briefly, the car crashes and Julie is killed. An injured Miller almost calls 911, then realizes he must cover up his involvement. He moves Julie's body to make it look like she was driving and flees the scene as the car bursts into flames.
Miller calls Jimmy Grant (Nate Parker), a twenty-three-year-old man from Harlem with a criminal record, who is the son of Robert's driver (now deceased). After being driven home by Grant, Miller removes security camera DVDs that show him coming home, burns his bloody clothing, then drags his injured body into bed at 4:30 am, arousing suspicion in his wife. The next day, Miller immediately discusses the "hypothetical" situation he's in with his friend and lawyer, who advises the hypothetical person to turn themselves in, as the lies required to keep the story a secret will pile up. The lawyer also mentions that he's heard through the grapevine that Miller's wife has visited an estate lawyer, which surprises Miller. Later Miller is questioned by police detective Bryer (Tim Roth). Bryer is keen on arresting Robert for manslaughter and begins to put the pieces together.
Brooke discovers the financial irregularities, realizes that she could be implicated and confronts her father.
Jimmy is arrested and placed before a grand jury but still refuses to admit to helping Miller. Miller once again contemplates turning himself in. Even though Jimmy is about to go to prison, Miller tells Jimmy that investors are depending on him and that waiting for the sale to close before coming forward would serve the greater good. Eventually, the sale is closed, but Miller finds a way to avoid being charged. He proves that Bryer had fabricated evidence. The case against Jimmy is dismissed, and the detective is ordered not to go near him.
Miller meets with someone who tells him that the audit is complete and puts his company in the clear for the merger. Later, Miller's wife confronts Miller and offers him a deal: if he signs a separation agreement that gives all voting rights and money to her foundation and their daughter, she'll lie and say she was with him all night of the accident. If he refuses, she'll tell the truth. Miller protests the situation.
The scene switches to Mayfield discussing a secondary audit that has been performed on Miller's company. The report does show a problem, but Mayfield chooses to ignore it and go forward with the merger.
In the final scene, Robert addresses a banquet honoring him for his successful business, with his wife at his side and his daughter introducing him to the audience but their false embrace on the stage signifies that he has lost the respect and admiration of his daughter. As Robert approaches the podium to deliver his speech the screen cuts to black, leaving his decision ambiguous.
- Richard Gere as Robert Miller
- Susan Sarandon as Ellen Miller
- Tim Roth as Det. Bryer
- Brit Marling as Brooke Miller
- Laetitia Casta as Julie Cote
- Nate Parker as Jimmy Grant
- Stuart Margolin as Syd Felder
- Chris Eigeman as Gavin Briar
- Graydon Carter as James Mayfield
- Bruce Altman as Chris Vogler
Arbitrage was a worldwide box-office success and is the highest-grossing "day-and-date" independently produced film of all time.
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions paid $2.1 million to acquire the United States rights of this film, and they spent around $3 million promoting the film's theatrical and VOD release. The film went on grossing $7.9 million in the United States box office and $14 million in United States VOD sales.
As of 2014, the film had grossed over $35,485,056 in the global box office.
The film also outperformed financially in several areas: it set a record as the highest-grossing "day-and-date" release of all time, meaning it outperformed all other films released simultaneously in theaters and "on-demand". It also opened to a per-screen average in the United States in excess of $10,000, making it one of the highest per-screen average films of the year. It was the top film in Israel two weeks running and no. 3 in Spain two weeks running, nearing a Spanish theatrical gross of US$ 5 million. It broke independent box office records in many other countries including Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland.
Arbitrage was praised by critics and has a rating of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 151 reviews with the consensus: "Arbitrage is both a tense thriller and a penetrating character study, elevated by the strength of a typically assured performance from Richard Gere." Many critics pointed out Gere's "conflicted performance" as a "career-best", and cited the screenplay, ensemble acting, and direction as high quality.
Arbitrage was nominated for 7 awards and won 4.
Gere was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama at the 70th Golden Globe Awards for his performance in Arbitrage.
The film won the following awards: National Board of Review – "Top 10 Independent Films," African American Film Critics Association – "Best Supporting Actor: Nate Parker," Hamptons International Film Festival – "Breakthrough Performer: Nate Parker"
It was also nominated for: Chicago Film Critics Society – "Most Promising Filmmaker: Nicholas Jarecki", Phoenix Film Critics Society – "Best Original Screenplay: Nicholas Jarecki", San Sebastian International Film Festival – "Golden Shell: Nicholas Jarecki"
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