Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (2016) is a English,Hebrew movie. Joseph Cedar has directed this movie. Richard Gere,Lior Ashkenazi,Michael Sheen,Steve Buscemi are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2016. Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (2016) is considered one of the best Drama,Thriller movie in India and around the world.
Norman Oppenheimer is the President of New York based Oppenheimer Strategies. His word-of-mouth business is consulting work largely in American-Israeli business and politics, that focus due to being Jewish. Most of that work is as a fixer: doing work that others don't want to do and with which they don't want to be officially associated. In reality, Norman is a shyster, and not a very good one at that. His office is comprised of his cell phone and whatever is stuffed in his satchel which is usually slung over his shoulder as he wanders the streets. What he promises is making connections, setting up a meeting between his guy and the other guy. Generally, "his guy" is non-existent, he dropping names of people he usually doesn't know to make connections. A usual tactic he uses is to say that his deceased wife was personally connected to so-and-so, such as being a babysitter, those stories always untrue. All he needs is for one of the people that he approaches to believe a story to build ...
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So, I understand what a Hollywood fixer is, which gave me an understanding of what Norman does, although I'm still a little confuse on how his version of being a fixer makes any money, but that's one of the points of the film. Richard Gere plays this guy who likes to help people out. He likes to connect the dots and do favors for people and get favors in return, so he can do more favors for more people. It makes his life have meaning. Norman tends to over exaggerate his friendships with some people and the perks they come with as a way to connect with others, but as he finds out, some circles can get you into big trouble when you embellish too much. This was a good role for Gere, he made Norman a very interesting man to watch. Charismatic and witty even when the chips were down. A very good performance. Also like Hank Azaria in the film as an up and coming fixer who brings Norman face to face with himself. Very amusing. It's a very New York movie. Really loved how the film is centered around a section of the Upper West Side and never leaves it Another tone setter was the music. The score was beautiful and lively. Not only that but they had a few scenes of the temple choir singing songs in Hebrew. It was really cool. Norman, makes for a good flick. Nicely paced and never boring with Richard Gere still pulling off an interesting leading man. Fun to watch. http://cinemagardens.com
When I see the term "The Fixer" I recall Alan Bates in the now-forgotten Frankenheimer film from the Bernard Malamud novel of that name. A more definitive portrait is limned by Richard Gere as an archetypal (or stereotypical) Jewish character in Joe Cedar's "Norman", a performance that is near-perfect and marks the full transition of Gere from his pretty-boy stardom of decades ago to great character actor. Casting gentiles in most of the major Jewish roles in this film should not be controversial, as certainly all recent Mafia epics have cast Brits, Irish and Australian actors in the Italian parts for the obvious reason that Italian actors, even De Niro, are tired of the ethnic gangster stereotype unless it's a comedy or spoof. Gere creates a memorable and unique character that avoids the obvious clichés. Just as in "Pretty Woman" he so ably played second-fiddle to his co-star Julia Roberts (in the role that made her a star) here Gere is actually overshadowed in the charisma department by his amazing Israeli co-star Lior Ashkenazi as Eshel, a minor Israeli politician befriended (for purely self-serving reasons) by Gere as Norman Oppenheinmer, Eshel later becoming his country's powerful prime minister. Norman is a finagler (I couldn't place the proper Yiddish word to describe him), with a compulsion to inveigle his way into people's good graces usually in the manner of a "cold call" handled in person, in order to make them beholden to him for future payoff. It's analogous to the premise behind Puzo's "The Godfather", in which Don Corleone does favors that ultimately will be paid back when the time is propitious, and is best described in the film's wonderful hand-drawn charts which Kevin Bacon-like link people together in complicated diagrams. Besides its obvious content, the film works on a different level to show the negative side of our era's current craze for "networking", a practice that has been enshrined as the cure-all for unemployment (or underemployment) at a certain level of society but which in this case involves extreme, insidious manipulation. Starting with buying the visiting Eshel an expensive pair of shoes as the Israeli visits New York City on government business (Isaach De Bankole as the shoe salesman is the first of numerous terrific small- role performances by instantly recognizable actors who usually have leading parts in movies), Norman compulsively fabricates far-fetched stories of his linkage to everybody while creating tenuous links in order to concoct complicated schemes, which he calls "Strategies" on his business card. He's a mysterious figure, always clad in his camel's hair overcoat and seemingly homeless as we never see him except in public places, usually on the phone via earphones pestering folks. On the surface he is a bore -the type one meets at a cocktail party or in the next seat on a plane and makes one wish to escape from his barrage of intrusive blather. But writer-director Cedar not only humanizes Norman but by the end of the film makes us see the good that results from his weird projects, even though Norman himself faces a tragic fate. A stumbling block for me to get into the picture was Cedar's rather forced and overly fanciful use of tropes from the school of "Magical Realism", often showing the characters, even as far away as one in NYC and the other in Israel, staged on the same set as if together, ultimately making much of the film seem like merely a fever dream hallucination in Norman's brain rather than actually occurring events. That "is it real?" aspect is already in the script by way of the constant prevarication and self-delusional assertions Norman makes, always exaggerating his own importance. He's not a liar per se, but as Kellyanne Conway has so vividly put it, a believer in alternate facts. When called on it, he tries to weasel his way out of a corner, but much of the film's effective black humor stems from the fact that the audience is privy to both sides of the story. Fate is a crutch that Cedar uses to keep the pot boiling but makes most of the movie's twists and turns too far-fetched to be believable. I would have much preferred an organic, unpredictable story line rather than the too-tight, very contrived approach, but that is the auteur's prerogative. These characters, especially Norman, have no degrees of freedom, while good (if conventional) writing is based on giving protagonists enough degrees of freedom to make choices and thereby create viable drama based on the consequences of their specific choices. In addition to Gere's thoughtful and always in character bravura performance and Ashkenazi's empathetic brilliance (he was great in an earlier Israeli film called "Footnote" that deserves to be more widely known), the spot roles so beautifully enacted include Charlotte Gainsbourg popping up and underplaying in chilling fashion as an Israeli prosecutor/investigator crucial to the story's payoff; Steve Buscemi cast against type as a duped Rabbi, who later shows the explosiveness fans have come to expect from the "Boardwalk Empire" star; Michael Sheeen, perfect as Norman's hapless and put-upon nephew; Harris Yulin as a tough NY power broker; and especially Hank Azaria, briefly astounding as Norman's unlikely doppelganger. This type of self-effacing ensemble is what the Screen Actor's Guild created its best "Cast in a Motion Picture" award to honor.
If there is a theme in Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (2017) it may be that sycophantic fixers are everywhere. They are the loners who gravitate towards successful people, offering favours, dropping names, and arranging introductions to ingratiate and elevate themselves. They are driven by self-interest and thrive in communities of self-interest. Politics is full of them. The 'fixer dynamic' drives the film's titular character, Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere). He is a lonely middle age Jew without visible means of support except for being a life-size parasite on other people. The archetype of a pathological liar and dreamer, his modus-operandi could be labelled corrupt in an ethics debate: he flatters, panders, and gives gifts to those richer or more powerful, always manouvering for return on investment. By chance, he latches onto low-ranking Jewish politician Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi) and gifts him a pair of outrageously expiensive shoes. They lose contact, but Norman has bought the right to drop his name anywhere. Three years later, Eshel is elected Prime Minister of Israel and Norman attends the celebrations. They re- unite and Eshel repays Norman by inviting him into the tent of influence where he is quickly out of his depth. As an inveterate fixer, he builds a complex web of promises that mostly cannot be delivered. While he does some good for some people, his house of cards eventually collapses and we are invited to judge where moral culpability lies. For every successful Eshel there are scores of Normans. Richard Gere's superbly enigmatic characterisation of Norman is the heart of this dialogue-driven film. He is irritatingly unlikeable, like a fly on a hot summer day, yet somehow endearing. He is arrogant yet vulnerable; desperate for acceptance yet with few admirable attributes. His story is whimsically satirical rather than funny and at times it wobbles precariously on the inter-personal dynamic between two unpleasant stereotypes, Norman and Eshel. Some filming gimmickry, like split screens and freeze action scenes, is unhelpfully distracting and two hours is a long time for a character study. But with clear echoes of Woody Allen-esque existentialism, this film outs the fixer caricature that feeds voraciously in circles of influence. In professional domains they are called lobbyists.
Full title of this Joseph Cedar movie is Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer. Norman the person is not very likable. He stands too close when he talks to you, he's relentless in searching for an angle, he's quick with the half-to-full-lie. But in Richard Gere's nuanced portrayal, initial discomfort turns to something more like sympathy. How he's treated by the people who see him for what he is becomes simultaneously justified and painful. The sympathy is possible because Norman isn't angling to benefit himself, at least not financially. He only wants to feel important, that he matters in the world, yet he remains "always just a few capillaries removed from the beating heart of power," says A.O. Scott in the New York Times. When he has a setback, and he has plenty of them, you see the gears turning until he hits a way to make the best of it. When Norman "bumps into" an Israeli diplomat and does him a favor, right there you know the seeds of calamity are planted. I won't say more about the plot, which is complicated in the delicious way that only someone like Norman could complicate it. Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi plays the diplomat; Michael Sheen plays Norman's put-upon nephew; Steve Buscemi as the rabbi of a financially distressed congregation is "a marvel of wit and off-kilter humanity," Scott says; and Manhattan plays itself, beautifully.
In Israeli-American director Joseph Cedar's masterful film Norman, The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, a ridiculously expensive pair of shoes given as a gift leads to a friendship between rising Israeli politician Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi, "Encirclements") and Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere, "Time Out of Mind"), an American businessman, consultant and, in the Yiddish expression, "gonif," defined as a disreputable but not entirely crooked individual. Like Eliezer Shkolnik, the aging Talmudic scholar and philologist in Cedar's 2011 film "Footnote," Norman is persistent in his longing for prestige and recognition by his peers. According to Cedar, "The tragic weakness of Norman and his ilk is that for them money acts as a substitute for intimacy; money is identified with power and influence his only way to connect is to lie, and people know that." Norman, brilliantly played by Richard Gere in one of his best performances, is a lonely man in his sixties living in New York but very much a cipher and we know nothing of his background other than his claim to being a widower with a college-age daughter. Given his tendency toward exaggeration and outright lies, however, its veracity is undetermined. Alex (Charlotte Gainsbourg, "Independence Day: Resurgence"), a government worker who he meets on an Amtrak trip tells him "Everyone knows who you are, but no one knows anything about you." Always looking for connection, Norman makes contact with little-known but charismatic Israeli politician Micha Eshel, currently deputy minister of Industry, Trade and Labor who is visiting New York. Trying hard to endear himself to Eshel, Norman persuades him to browse in an upper crust shoe boutique and ends up buying him the most expensive shoes in the store. The fixer seems to have hit pay dirt when he learns three years later that Eshel has been elected Prime Minister of Israel, but the relationship turns out to be a mixed blessing. Not knowing whether or not Micha will even remember him, Norman waits in a greeting line to shake his hand at a victory party and is ecstatic when Eshel not only remembers him but gives him an effusive hug. When he asks him to serve as intermediary between Israel and the New York-based wealthy Jewish community, it is Norman's moment of triumph over those who have marginalized him over the years and opens doors that were previously closed to him, even though Duby (Yehuda Almagor, "Intimate Grammar"), Eshel's aide, wants to keep Norman as far away from the Prime Minister as is humanly possible. Now wielding the power that has always eluded him, Norman tries to use Eshel's name in negotiating transactions with Norman's nephew Philip Cohen (Michael Sheen, "Nocturnal Animals") who needs a rabbi to preside over his wedding to a Korean convert, and Rabbi Blumenthal (Steve Buscemi, "Horace and Pete," TV series) who needs to find a donor who will contribute to the synagogue. Norman's dubious wheeling and dealing, however, catches up with him and he finds himself in deep personal and legal trouble. Never one to lose self-confidence, when he is told that he's like "a drowning man trying to wave at an ocean liner," he responds, "but I'm a good swimmer." The problems, however, have serious international repercussions and recall many instances of the exchange of money and gifts have led to the downfall of many prominent American and Israeli. Though Norman is an archetype and, in some ways, resembles the stereotyped "court Jew," often used as an anti-Semitic reference, we can relate to, if not admire him as a flawed human being who, like many of us, wants very much to be loved and respected. We empathize with him for no reason other than that we share a common humanity and we may know from experience that there is often a thin line dividing the upright from the outcast.