Making movies means dealing with people who have plenty of opinions about how things should be done, but I find it remarkable that no one involved with “Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer” said anything about the title. One of the longest, and blandest, movie titles in recent memory, I’m not even halfway through reading the name when I’ve checked out. But luckily the star-studded cast is drawing me back in.
Richard Gere leads an ensemble that includes Lior Ashkenazi, Hank Azaria, Steve Buscemi, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Michael Sheen, and Dan Stevens in this story of an obnoxiously persistent New York City fixer. Here’s the official synopsis:
Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere) lives a lonely life in the margins of New York City power and money, a would-be operator dreaming up financial schemes that never come to fruition. As he has nothing real to offer, Norman strives to be everyone’s friend, but his incessant networking leads him nowhere.
Always on the lookout for someone willing to pay attention to him, Norman sets his sights on Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi), a charismatic Israeli politician alone in New York at a low point in his career. Sensing Eshel’s vulnerability, Norman reaches out with a gift of a very expensive pair of shoes, a gesture that deeply touches Eshel. When Eshel becomes Prime Minister three years later, he remembers.
With his very real connection to the leader of a major nation, Norman is awash in the respect he has always craved. Flush with his newfound feeling of success, Norman attempts to use Eshel’s name to leverage his biggest deal ever: a series of quid pro quo transactions linking the Prime Minister to Norman’s nephew (Michael Sheen), a rabbi (Steve Buscemi), a mogul (Harris Yulin), his assistant (Dan Stevens), and a treasury official from the Ivory Coast. Norman’s kaleidoscopic plans soon go awry, creating the potential for an international catastrophe he must struggle to prevent.
“Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer” opens on April 14th.