Arbitrage is a great little film. It almost plays as a bleak black sequel to Pretty Woman, painfully exposing what happens when an Edward Lewis character has gotten on in years, and has stretched his debt, his credibility and his marriage (with Susan Sarandon playing the older Vivian) to breaking point. Richard Gere is on finest form as the corrupt, self-centered businessman about to lose it all. New York locations abound. Nate Parker as the falsely accused is really stand out. Look out for him again.
But I also want to mention that I saw Arbitrage via download on Apple TV. This is not news; the film famously opened “day and date” (in Hollywood terms that means “all at once – cinemas, dvd, cable, VOD….) in the autumn of last year. This ties in directly with the demands, particularly of younger viewers, who want to watch their films when they want to, and not at the whims of a cinema owner who’s protecting his bottom line. And while it’s by no means a young person’s film, Arbitrage made $8 million at the box office and another $14 million in VOD sales – not just a good return for an indie film, but the most successful day-and-date release by far. The Hollywood Reporter tells you how they did it here. It’s the shape of things to come.