Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere) is a wheeler-dealer, but, even at his late age, he doesn’t appear to have had much success. As luck would have it, he takes advantage of a street meeting with an Israeli diplomat, Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi), and they have a heart-warming encounter. Three years later, Eshel becomes the Israeli Prime Minister. Eshel remembers Norman fondly and takes him into his inner circle, which now makes Norman a power-broker of sorts in the Jewish community.
Norman seems to enjoy the status more than any possible financial gain. He tirelessly networks and tries to put important people together. He makes promises on optimism – which sometimes is justified – but he often fails to deliver, disappointing and angering his friends and business acquaintances. Norman manipulates and lies, but he also seems like a warm-spirited guy whose heart is basically in the right place. Who Norman is and what motivates him remains a mystery, but he is a fascinating character nonetheless.
I can’t reveal more about the plot without spoiling the film, but Gere gives a great performance. I’ve been a fan of his ever since “Officer and a Gentleman,” and I think he’s an under-rated actor. The Writer/Director (Joseph Cedar) has written an interesting screenplay and gets fine performances from the main characters. The movie will work fine as a rental, but it’s good enough to see on the BS, especially since there aren’t a lot of good films out now.