Who Is Robert Miller?
Gere plays a charming, sophisticated billionaire. He's also a conflicted man,
outside conventional morality, who uses his wealth to make his own rules. He
enjoys a graceful
loving wife and a beautiful young mistress, he's good to his daughter and son,
he's duplicitous -- he has everything he wants and more. "Miller wears his
entitlement like he
wears his suit -- easily, fitted, and well," notes Bickford. "It's this sense of
entitlement you get
throughout the film - because he is such a great benefactor, he can do as he
For many years, Miller succeeds in every respect, building his family, his
wealth and his
empire. He then suddenly becomes a product of the market that crashed in 2008.
He's a man on
borrowed time because he's crossed over the limits of what's acceptable. He was
people's money and chose to make irresponsible gambles with it. "Miller's world
starts to fall
apart and as the delusion fades, the reality enters, very much like what
happened to most guys on
'the street'," adds Jarecki.
"Miller isn't necessarily the guy who built the best mousetrap, but he's
arguably the best
salesman because he's so charming and a hard worker," says Jarecki. "But there's
a little nefarious about him. He's not a rough-and-tumble street youth; he's a
guy who pulls
himself up from his bootstraps, makes his own identity."
The director never wanted to paint Miller as a villain. "He's a complicated man
think we are all complicated," he suggests. "We all lie and cheat at times and
we all do great
things and selfless things. I believe altruism exists and its part of our DNA
because we do things
for others. So I think Robert is human but severely flawed and the film looks at
whether he will
ever give up the power he loves so much to preserve that one shred of humanity."
Bickford admits that this is one of the things she found appealing about the
"Miller's a guy we find charming and we're sympathetic to the fact that his
mistakes might ruin
his life, so we're never quite sure who's side we are on in the telling of this
story. It's a very
realistic moral corruption that can happen to people instead of a caricature of
good and bad."
Turen notes that Miller's decisions aren't always conventionally moral "but he
it is more important to do the pragmatic thing given his love for his family and
and responsibilities he feels for those around him. A lot of characters in this
film are doing the
wrong things for the right reasons-at least they see it that way."
"He loves his wife and children," Jarecki concurs. "And he also loves the thrill
a mistress and living at the top of the world. The real question is does he love
himself more? And
I think in the beginning we expect that he does."
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