Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer ★★★½

A fascinating character study pulled off by Richard Gere, of a man whose self importance is solely attached to his alleged ability to know all the New York movers and shakers.

He has no office other than his mobile phone and his satchel, always carried over one shoulder in an affectation that is the soul of Gere's nuanced performance. He is a special kind of “fixer”, not the Ray Donovan, Harvey Keitel kind, but more a social go-between; the kind of guy who claims he can “put you together” with whoever you need, as he seeks only the juice of being that “special guy”.

In lesser hands Norman would be an annoying shill, but Gere instills a sense of compassion... still the shtick runs a bit thin by film's closing... but by then you're so invested in the character and his orbit that you want to see how it all plays out.

Writer/director Joseph Cedar lays it all on the line and for the most part pulls off his story of a guy who ends up way over his head, as his antics and big mouth incredibly have impact on Middle East peace negotiations.

Cedar liberally uses split screen filming to show both sides of phone conversations – with great effect as you begin to see parallels with heightened import as the connections come together and then fall apart.

In the end there is a redemption of sorts for Norman as we see that all his mechanations resulted in some good taking place in the world, even though he had to make a sacrifice to get it done.