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Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, Director – Joseph Cedar

September 13, 2016

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I am not yet sure how to review this film. It tells the story of Norman Oppenheimer, a Jewish middle man or fixer in NYC. The character also called a macher in Yiddish is not an uncommon character in the city. He is a person who connects people with money and sets up deals of which he will take a cut. In this film Norman gets out of his comfort zone when he tries to set up deals with visiting Israeli politicians and local businessmen. The problem with the film is that pretty much everyone sees Norman as a bit of a con man and clearly have little or no respect for him. His lawyer nephew and his rabbi give him a bit of a break but otherwise he appears pretty pathetic. The film and the plot are in my opinion completely unbelievable. The moderate rise is about him making friends with a deputy minister from the Israeli government who later manages to become prime minister. Norman has a real connection with the man but the difference between their worlds means that nothing Norman tries to set up will ever work and in fact he becomes a threat to the PM by his machinations. Again all this seems totally unbelievable for a penny ante operator like Norman. Richard Gere is very good in the role and in introducing the film the director warned us the character of Norman will stay with us long after the film is over. Sadly, Norman is already fading from my memory and I am grateful. A film that I thought had great potential when I got my ticket but is now the weakest film of the week and really a very disappointing experience.

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