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When two college friends of extremely wealthy philanthropist Franny (Gere) die in a car accident, he feels responsible and out of love, or some other unknown reason, wants a part of their surviving daughter’s life. When Olivia (Dakota Fanning) marries and becomes pregnant, her husband Luke (Theo James) grows suspicious of Franny’s motivations and more so, how he acquired his fortune.
Richard Gere has quietly been doing some amazing work these past few decades, albeit in not well-received films. His criminally underrated work in older movies, such as Internal Affair (our review) and Unfaithful are evidence of a master actor who has continually produced some of the best work of his generation. He’s always created enigmatic and often haunting ‘human’ characters and here, he’s at it again, painting a portrait of a flawed man with maybe the best intentions but a troubled way about him.
The trailer does a good job of keeping that troubled way a mystery and his compelling performance in the short clip alone is enough to keep you curious. I suspect the film is not exactly the thriller the trailer is hoping to make you think it is, but should be an interesting character study nonetheless.
‘The Benefactor’ opens in limited release and on VOD January 15, 2016.