Dakota Fanning and Theo James play a newly married couple that is forced to navigate the all-consuming interest of a powerful, mysterious, and possessive philanthropist (Richard Gere). (NR – 92 minutes)
At best, “The Benefactor” is a showcase for star Richard Gere’s acting abilities. He gives a commanding performance that cuts straight through to the message about self-serving philanthropy that writer/director Andrew Renzi is attempting to relay via debut drama. However, the story itself is too slowly paced and pretty predictable in its path to our flawed protagonist’s discovering the err of his ways. Without Gere’s convincing transitions between charming and contentious, there would be little in the film worth watching. As is, though, the movie makes for a thought-provoking character study and another reason to declare Gere as a truly talented actor.