NORMAN made headlines at the Toronto International Film Festival rated as one of the top films of the festival. A small time deal-maker at last gets a chance to mix with the elite, with mixed results.
With Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, Oscar-nominated writer-director Joseph Cedar's (Footnote) wry gaze migrates to New York's network of fixers, connectors, and middlemen. This absorbing character study stars Richard Gere as Norman, a seasoned "macher": a man who knows the right people and gets things done. Like a gambler or a thief, Norman's position is more vocation than profession, a confidence game requiring luck and a kind of societal sleight of hand.
When an Israeli dignitary, Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi), visits New York, Norman decides to make an impression by buying him some extremely expensive shoes. A gold-star connection is made, but three years later Eshel winds up becoming Israel's prime minister and is suddenly hugely inaccessible. Norman's circle begins asking him to write cheques he can no longer cash — and the fallout could destroy the reputation Norman has spent his life building.
Gorgeously photographed and infused with Cedar's trademark poetics, Norman is a heady comic drama. Its supporting cast of Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi, Hank Azaria, Josh Charles, and Isaach De Bankolé all tread the boards in Cedar's theatre of charisma. But this is ultimately Gere's show. We watch him perform his magic and are also invited to peek behind the curtain. Gere is somehow simultaneously seductive, vulnerable, and enigmatic — a profoundly satisfying balancing act, in the role of a lifetime.
★★★★ "Richard Gere is outstanding" — AZcentral
★★★★ "Norman … slyly provocative as it is entertaining” — Slant Magazine
★★★★ "Gere… one of the screen's most subtly inventive actors” — AARP
“Gere is Brilliant” — Boston Herald
"Gere in one of his best performances ever." — Rolling Stones
“(GERE) one of the best performances in any movie this year" — Chicago SunTimes
“Fascinating onscreen from beginning to end” - The Hollywood Reporter
“Gere has the role of his career” Deadline
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