Norman:The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
Director: Joseph Cedar
Cast: Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dan Stevens, Hank Azaria
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Language: English, Hebrew with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Israel-USA 2017 118 mins. (15)
Released by Sony Pictures
Richard Gere nails it as Norman Oppenheimer, a walk and talk man, tweed cap, camel hair coat, ear buds to his iphone, he's got the patter, and connections - 'They're all close friends.' Norman, a macher hovering on the edge of Manhatten's business and financial sector, going nowhere fast but then up pops Israeli politician Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi) alone in New York City and Norman senses a chance. A gift of a pair of expensive shoes wins Eshel over and they're best buddies. Norman's 'a warm Jew.' Fast forward and Eshel's elected Prime Minister. Norman's in seventh heaven, he's a man of influence, but Micha Eshel's well protected from the Normans of this world and his aides would like him sidelined. It's not the money that Norman craves, he just wants to belong, to be there, to be a man of influence.
With an impressive support cast - Steve Busceni, Michael Sheen, Harris Yulin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Josh Charles, a great score by Jun Miyake, topped by Richard Gere's spot on character study of a charming man tinged with desperation, a man out of his depth with the political fallout from his deals, it's sit back, great viewing. And what a draw-you-in title.