A Jewish farce brimming with humanity is full of lessons and life. What else can be said about Joseph Cedar’s “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Downfall of a New York Fixer” could fill a Saul Bellow novel. See this film to watch napkin jottings of socio-grams  become high drama.

Richard Gere is Norman Oppenheimer, a little man to whom ” attention must be paid” Arthur Miller style. Gere inhabits the role of a jabbering wheeler-dealer as effortlessly as he has in more stereotyped cute lover roles. This is a great character study that reminds viewers not to be too judgmental. We have character growth and a transcending of self-actualization Maslow-style.

Cedar’s tale is structured into four acts: ” A Foot In The Door”, “The Right Horse” and ” Anonymous Donor”, and ” The Price of Peace”. Gere morphs before our eyes from “macher” into “mensch”. At first questions like, ” How much money could you make if you knew ” put us off. We see Norman flummoxed at the treatment he receives from affluent Mr. Town ( Josh Charles ). Isn’t he just trying to link people up and be appreciated for it ? His nephew played beautifully by Michael Sheen tells Norman that he is like a drowning man waving at an ocean liner. Norman optimistically replies with a smile, ” but I’m a good swimmer.” Good things come in surprising ways to be sure in this film. Continue reading “Norman”