Fast Scans | February 2013

Arbitrage. color. 107+ min. Lionsgate. 2012. DVD UPC 031398161530. $19.98; Blu-ray UPC 031398161561. $24.99. Rated: R.

Anxious to sell his overleveraged investment firm before the cooked books are uncovered, silver-fox hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere) frantically tries to hold his crumbling world together after his girlfriend dies in a car crash with him at the wheel. Keeping the truth from his society wife (Susan Sarandon), financial-officer daughter (Brit Marling), and a tenacious cop (Tim Roth), Miller pursues a high-stakes cover-up in this smart thriller. Audiences should be eager to invest in newbie filmmaker Nicholas Jarecki.

Following. b/w. 70+ min. Criterion Collection. 1999. DVD ISBN 9781604656367. $29.95; Blu-ray ISBN 9781604656350. $39.95.

Before MementoInception, and his genre-transcending “Batman” trilogy, Christopher Nolan made an auspicious debut with this microbudget British film noir that makes a virtue out of necessity. Shot in black and white on grainy 16mm stock with a handheld camera, Following tracks an aspiring writer who shadows strangers around London. His skulking leads him to an opportunistic burglar he joins up with as research for a novel. The inclusion of a linear cut for comparison and a fascinating interview makes this a must for Nolan fans. [Trailers, LJ 11/1/12.]

Liberal Arts. color. 97+ min. IFC Films, dist. by MPI Home Entertainment. 2012. DVD ISBN 9780788616099. $24.98; Blu-ray ISBN 9780788616235. $29.98.

Writer-director Josh Radnor also stars as a rather disillusioned 35-year-old New York City college admissions counselor who returns to his idealized Midwest alma mater. Reluctantly charmed by a bright and sensitive 19-year-old coed, winningly played by a glowingly appealing Elizabeth Olsen, the nostalgic alum must decide whether to pursue a relationship with his book-and-classical-music-loving kindred spirit or recognize that their age gap is more than just a number. Without grading on a curve, rom-com fans should give this passing marks.

360. color. 110+ min. Magnolia Home Entertainment. 2011. DVD UPC 876964005067. $26.98; Blu-ray UPC 876964005074. $29.98. Rated: R.

Beginning with a prostitute whose client (Jude Law) declines her services, to his wife (Rachel Weisz), who has broken up with her stud-boy lover, and eventually getting to a grieving father (Anthony Hopkins) searching for his long-lost daughter, Fernando Meirelles (The Constant GardenerCity of God) traces the connections among a dozen characters around the globe. A passably intriguing exploration of the “six degrees of separation” theme for audiences willing to go with the full-circle flow of these tangential relations.

The Well-Digger’s Daughter. color. 105+ min. In French w/English subtitles. Kino Lorber. 2011. DVD UPC 738329096922. $29.95; Blu-ray UPC 738329097028. $34.95.

A proud rural well digger raising five daughters after the death of his wife is crestfallen when he finds out his virginal 18-year-old has been impregnated by the handsome son of a wealthy local merchant. To make matters worse, the unwitting father-to-be has been abruptly called up for wartime service even as his parents deny his paternity. Class divisions, family loyalty, and romantic love entangle in this exquisite adaptation of Marcel Pagnol’s novel helmed by and starring veteran actor Daniel Auteuil in his widely appealing directorial debut.