NORMAN (2016): There’s Something I Liked…

Norman (2016), Richard Gere
Norman (2016), Richard Gere

Immediately I failed to warm to Norman (Richard Gere). Not that I was supposed to warm to him exactly, but the fact that writer / director Joseph Cedar’s Norman Oppenheimer is quite the massive nuisance made continuing to watch this movie quite the challenge.

I did however find the strength to continue because I wanted to learn about how the life of a small time operator, a.k.a. New York fixer, a.k.a. total ‘bull**** artist’ would dramatically change. I had to see how his life would change for better and worse after he befriends a young politician at a low point in his life.

In my clearly desperate quest to be there when Norman finally got his comeuppance, I encountered a scene I liked a lot. Namely the wonderfully satisfying moment when Norman gets caught out in one of his many, many lies and he’s outsmarted by a target. That beautifully acted moment at the ‘private dinner’ really helped me come to terms with my decision to continue watching this movie.

As is the case in House of Cards, a political drama where those who are constant nuisances to very powerful people tend to ‘expire’ quite quickly, I imagined that at some point Norman might suffer the same fate. In Cedar’s story, Norman doesn’t quite end up ceasing to exist, but as the synopsis promises, his life does become both better and worse.

A great cast that includes Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Josh Charles didn’t do badly in their roles. I guess I just generally have little patience for Norman-like nuisances and this movie is all about a massive nuisance called Norman.

Watch it if you like or are curious about small time operators, New York fixer types, total ‘bull**** artists’ and that sort of thing.

Happy Film Loving


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