The Benefactor

A newly married couple are forced to navigate the all-consuming interest of a powerful, mysterious, and possessive philanthropist.


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  • ★★★½ review by Matt Thomas on Letterboxd

    Richard Gere really is having a renaissance in later life. His performance here is full of light and shade and helps this seemingly conventional drama go believably into a direction you might not expect. The first act felt an awful lot like an English-language remake of Our Children though.

  • ★★★½ review by Jason Bailey on Letterboxd

    There’s such a fascinating nervous tension happening through the first half or so of Andrew Renzi’s character drama that you kind of don’t want to know what’s really going on; I just can’t overstate the value of the unsteady ground he puts us on, and the feeling (particularly in a key scene or two) that you don’t know where on earth it’s going. Richard Gere is in top form as an eccentric philanthropist attempting — perhaps a bit too strenuously — to reconnect with the daughter of his departed best friends. He veers from total confidence to over-sharing to whispering desperation, never revealing too much, but never seeming to withhold either. He’s a tough nut to crack, which makes both the character and the actor more interesting, and while the picture succumbs to convention at the conclusion (and thus falls apart a little), it’s still an intriguing character study and a fine showcase for a perpetually (and inexplicably) underrated actor.

  • ★★★★ review by mediastudent on Letterboxd

    This overlooked title has an outstanding performance from Mr. Gere, whose aging appearance has given him several opportunities to stretch out. The film's Philadelphia locations and classic filmic widescreen shots recall 1970s Italian cinema. Its tight 90-minute run time will give you an efficient, entertaining  viewing experience without wondering where your leisure time has disappeared.

  • ★★★½ review by Wonderland18S on Letterboxd

    Senza infamia e senza lode.

  • ★★★½ review by Christie on Letterboxd

    A drama about a broken family. Richard Gere's character Franny (family friend) comes off over zealous, and agrees to help out Dakota Fanning's character Poodles, while her and her fiancé Theo James character, get on their feet. As soon as Franny enters their lives he's almost instantaneously unwelcome by the rude (needs to consistently prove something) finance. Franny doesn't seem like a typical rich arrogant jerk, just a very lonely over generous desperate old man.

    This film isn't anything too unique or new, but I still liked it. Acting is decent but the way the characters are written makes it hard to find them likable. The story takes a interesting turn the last 30 minutes and I liked the ending. Richard Gere is once again a good actor in this role and delivers a intense performance.

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