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Subtitled The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, filmmaker Joseph Cedar’s seemingly simple yet delightfully complicated moral fable follows the title Manhattanite – played by Richard Gere in deep character – as he wheedles, cajoles, and ingratiates his way into the confidences of a visiting Israeli politician (Lior Ashkenazi). Norman tries too hard, but for what purpose? That’s the question in writer-director Cedar’s (Beaufort, Footnote) grandly constructed tale, superbly cast tale. The supporting perfs – by Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi (as a rabbi), Charlotte Gainsbourg, Harris Yulin, Neta Raskin, Hank Azaria, Josh Charles, et al. – only highlight Gere’s remarkable transformation into the archetypal urban luftmensch in this humanistic but spiritual story, abundant with comic overtones yet serious as mortality. Highly recommended (118 min., 2016, not rated) (K.V.)
Official Site: sonyclassics.com/norman/#
Director: Joseph Cedar
Producer: Oren Moverman, Gideon Tadmor, Eyal Rimmon, David Mandil, Miranda Bailey, Lawrence Inglee, Jim Kaufman, Amanda Marshall and Caroline Kaplan
Cast: Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dan Stevens, Hank Azaria, Harris Yulin, Josh Charles, Yehuda Almagor, Neta Riskin, Dov Glickman, Tali Sharon, Miranda Bailey, Scott Shepherd, Jonathan Avigdori, Andrew Polk, Jorge Pupo and Maryann Urbano

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

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