Everyone, supposedly, knows a Norman. They're people that exist on the fringes of your social circle, desperate to be part of the crowd, desperate to be essential.

Richard Gere's Norman is a Jewish fixer in New York. He trades in the currency of favours. If you've got a problem, he's got the answer. He knows a guy.

Directed by award-winning Israeli director Joseph Cedar, Norman is a unique proposition. It is both vague and incredibly detailed at the same time.

We never know exactly who Norman is, where he lives or what he really does. And yet, we watch as he creates and gets caught in an elaborate web of half-truths and broken promises.

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Gere is magnificent as the titular character, making Norman just likeable enough to keep the audience on side. You want him to succeed, even though common sense tells you he won't.

But as the curious tale unfolds at a slow, languorous pace, it stretches viewers' patience to the brink of frustration: Just what is the point?

The convoluted plot becomes too far-fetched and convenient to seem plausible.

While elegantly shot, the film becomes little more than a two-hour character study, showcasing the depths of Gere's talent. While not strictly a waste of time, it is certainly less than essential viewing.

Cast:

Richard Gere, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi

Director:

Joseph Cedar

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Rating:

M, offensive language

Running time:

117 mins

Verdict:

Gere delivers a career best in this complex curiosity