Israeli-American writer-director Joseph Cedar (FOOTNOTE) possesses an extraordinary gift for telling stories of men vying for prestige in cloistered worlds. With NORMAN, Cedar's 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. 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 checks 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. (Synopsis excerpted from the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival)
“It can take a TV series an entire season to establish a political intrigue as elaborate as the one Cedar devises here—and even longer to flesh out such a fascinating protagonist, when all Cedar had to do was give this archetype a name.” —Peter DeBruge, Variety “Made with skill, style and an insider’s knowledge of the intersecting worlds of New York and Israeli power politics...Gere presides over it all with an impressively self-effacing portrait of a man who, while you wouldn’t want to experience him in real life, remains fascinating onscreen from beginning to end.” —Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
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