Benjamin Maio Mackay
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer - 4 Stars
Quirky lovable characters shine in an interesting, human political thriller.
Norman Oppenheimer is a small time operator who befriends a young politician at a low point in his life. Three years later, when the politician becomes an influential world leader, Norman's life dramatically changes for better and worse.
There’s something very “Woody Allen-esq” about this film. The music, cinematography, large famous ensemble cast and the ending are all reminiscent of Allen’s more recent work. However, it doesn’t feel like a copy. Joseph Cedar has written and directed the film well, I think general audiences may struggle to understand what it’s actually about - the truth is, very little. It focuses more on people than events and some character’s motivations are still unclear by the end of the film. Despite that it still feels endearing.
Richard Gere is outstanding and probably won’t receive the notoriety for the film he deserves. Lior Ashkenazi is charming, yet a little sinister, playing his character brilliantly. Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dan Stevens and Steve Buscemi also are shine.
Overall an unusual yet charming political insight.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas