Arbitrage

[2.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Two questions:

  1. is there any actual "arbitrage" going on in this movie? Even in a metaphorical sense? Maybe I should ask Tyler Cowen. Otherwise, I entertain the possibility that the moviemakers simply rummaged around the financial press for a random financial term. "Margin Call?" "Taken." "Leverage?" "Taken." "Arbitrage?" "Well, OK."
  2. The movie stars charismatic, handsome, Richard Gere in the main role; his antagonist is scruffy, unglamourous, schlub Tim Roth. Does this movie work very differently if the roles are switched?

Anyway: Gere plays Robert Miller, the (as previously said) charismatic, handsome, and (above all) rich manager of a hedge fund. Outwardly, it's all good: corporate jets and limousines at his beck and call, a loving family (with Susan Sarandon—woo hoo— as his wife).

But just slightly underneath the superficial exterior, it's all falling apart. Miller has made a very bad, very illegal, hedged bet on a copper mine in Unstablestan. With Other People's Money. (Also taken.) And he has a mistress on the side, a cokehead French artist. Then things get much worse, and he finds he's got to deal with the (previously mentioned) scruffy, unglamourous Tim Roth. Undeniably guilty of multiple crimes, the question is: can he escape jail and a ridiculous amount of bad publicity?

Not bad, but I didn't care for the ending.