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Norman (2016)

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (original title)
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Norman Oppenheimer is a small time operator who befriends a young politician at a low point in his life. Three years later, when the politician becomes an influential world leader, Norman's life dramatically changes for better and worse.

Director:

Joseph Cedar

Writer:

Joseph Cedar
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Gere ... Norman Oppenheimer
Lior Ashkenazi ... Micha Eshel
Michael Sheen ... Phillip Cohen
Steve Buscemi ... Rabbi Blumenthal
Yehuda Almagor Yehuda Almagor ... Duby
Neta Riskin ... Hanna
Josh Charles ... Arthur Taub
Dan Stevens ... Bill Kavish
Harris Yulin ... Jo Wilf
Doval'e Glickman ... Ron Maor (as Dov Glickman)
Tali Sharon ... Naomi Eshel
Charlotte Gainsbourg ... Alexandra (Alex) Green
Isaach De Bankolé ... Jacques (as Isaach De Bankole)
Miranda Bailey ... Taub's Assistant
D.C. Anderson ... Congressman Bob Easterly
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Storyline

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 ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's an operator. He's an optimist. He's a mystery.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Israel | USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

14 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Norman See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$99,211, 14 April 2017

Gross USA:

$3,810,812
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Half of the film was shot in New York City and half of it in Jerusalem, Israel. The original poster for the movie showed the two main actors, Richard Gere and Lior Ashkenazi, standing back to back, with Gere in New York City and Ashkenazi in Jerusalem. See more »

Quotes

Norman Oppenheimer: There are two kinds of moguls: First kind is like a big ocean liner ship. Makes a lot of waves, a lot of noise, everybody sees it coming from miles away. Like Jo Wilf. I think your boss, Minister Maor, is actually... in his close circle of friends. of course. And then there is Arthur. Well, Arthur is more like a nuclear submarine. he's quiet, he's fast, he's young. Extremely sophisticated.
See more »

Connections

References Exodus (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Mi Sheberach
Traditional
Arranged by Raymond Goldstein
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User Reviews

 
a whimsical character study of a lonely Jewish fixer
6 June 2017 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

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.


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