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The Benefactor [DVD]

3.0 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning, Theo James
  • Directors: Andrew Renzi
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Feb. 2016
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0199YB2U4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,413 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Francis L. Watts (Richard Gere) is an affluent business man living in Philadelphia. But despite his wealth and connections, he is still grieving over the death of his friends, caused by a tragic car crash he was responsible for years ago. In an attempt to relieve his pain and guilt, something that his morphine addiction can t fix, he gets back into the lives of his friend s daughter and her husband. But after showering them with gifts and new prospects, things quickly sour. What follows is a desperate man s attempts to keep hold of his life, while everything around him falls apart.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Richard Gere gives a powerhouse performance here as Franny, a rich and powerful philanthropist whose life is left in tatters after causing the premature death of 2 close friends in a car accident. Contacted year's later by the couple's daughter, 'Poodle' (played by Dakota Fanning) Franny has dropped out of society and the limelight altogether, medicated up to his eyeballs on prescription drugs, unkempt and reclusive - but he now sees a possible path back to redemption through her. Loading Poodle with gifts, including a new home for her and her up and coming doctor husband, Luke (Theo James) Franny senses his power returning and soon expects to be repaid in ways that the couple find hard to accept. Gere once again throws himself wholeheartedly into a complex role that rewards the viewer immensely.
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By Lola TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Feb. 2016
Format: DVD
Richard Gere is acting, and acting good, whilst all the other characters in "The Benefactor" don't really belong. Despite great cast, this melodrama (also mistakenly adversities as "thriller") has very little to offer, starting with pretty weak storyline.

Unconvincing and dull, but it starts off rather promising.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Benefactor is a simple enough tale (if you watch the film you’ll find out just how very, very simple), and a tale that is just about told competently. The cinematography is good as is most of the audio, although the actors seamed to be mumbling on occasions to me. Writer and director of The Benefactor maybe didn’t deliver a well-written and directed film for me though, as I was aware as I watched, that it was missing a good narrative.

Clearly, some reviewers have said that Richard Gere put in a good performance, but for me the very talented actor that Gere is, came across as over-acting and I am at a loss to explain why – but he did come across like that to me. The supporting cast didn’t interact with Gere in a convincing way, but (for all that they are all very good actors) they were in scenes that were dominated by Gere in his over-acted scenes, to the extent that I was cringing at what I was watching. Was it all down to Andrew Renzi, the writer and director? I don’t know, but I doubt I will watch this film a second time and I couldn’t encourage any one to view it for the first time as I found it very disappointing.

On the DVD you get:

The Benefactor (1 hour 29)
Scene Selection

…and nothing else whatsoever!
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Format: DVD
Gere doesn't make as many films as he used to so it's great to see him back on screen with a complex, addicted and remorseful character.
He's tough to like at first, but it's hard to dislike him because he's so charismatic.
Also loved the relationship between him and Theo James, friendly yet at each others throats at the same time.
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Format: DVD
**SPOILERS** In "The Benefactor" Richard Gere plays Franny, the sort of person most of us would cross the road to avoid. Loud, obnoxious, overbearing and seemingly very rich. I'm not sure if the actors were mumbling or whether the sound quality on the DVD is very poor but I couldn't hear huge chunks of the dialogue. I like Richard Gere, I think his charm and charisma make up for his tendency to overact but not in this film. Franny causes the death of his two friends in a car crash. Quite why the bond between Franny and this couple was so deep is never explained. The flashbacks of him jumping into bed with them are, quite frankly, a bit creepy. He seems to have a problem letting anybody have privacy.When their pregnant daughter, played by Dakota Fanning, gets in touch after five years Franny showers her and her new husband with gifts including her childhood home. He doesn't actually ask her if she wants to live there. Dakota Fanning's character is called Olivia, nicknamed Boodles or Poodles but because of the sound quality I'm not sure which. Franny finds Olivia's Doctor husband a wonderful job and a place on the board of the hospital, before too long he seems to control every aspect of their lives. This is basically the tale of a sad, depressed drug addict who has to buy friendship and loyalty. There are some very embarrassingly corny moments, especially when Gere starts to sing. Not one I will be watching again.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A marvellous storyline and great actors, a median pace show that has the power of holding you in your chair not wanting to move, a man who friends are killed because of him living a very lonely life with a morphine addiction. Wanting to make amends for his actions he contacts the family with hopes of forgiveness but to no avail that leaves him tormented. I rated this an A grade plus for holding my interest throughout. Munchies and a minute to decide what you are doing have a look at and become a judge. Enjoy!
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Format: DVD
Gere plays a Howard Hughes, John DuPont type philanthropist, who has more money than earth, and wants to help/meddle with Dakota Fanning's life because he feels responsible for her parents sudden death.

Addicted to Hydromorphone, he employs her husband (played by Theo James) at his children's wonder emporium type hospital in order to keep his supply of analgesia full, and to keep his foot in the door.

But when people begin to resist, refuse, and deny him what he wants, he becomes more and more desperate.

When a person with great power and wealth becomes vulnerable, it becomes quickly apparent to people that they are losing their edge, and the weak spots begin to show. Well in this film, it's really difficult to tell how many weak spots Franny has.

His obvious addiction to Morphine is the primary problem, but the film decides that he has more and more problems as the narrative unfolds, and it becomes mind bendingly awkward as to what his motivation is, and why Franny has all these ulterior motives.

Is it his guilt? We are treated to several flashbacks and nightmare sequences featuring the accident that becomes his undoing, but in the real time narrative, it's barely mentioned, just knowing looks and 'Hmmm's' from the cast.

Gere is wonderful, it's a showcase for him, doing his usual blinky performance. His desperation as Franny is pretty grim, especially one scene were his need for a fix is horrifically apparent.

But why does it come as such a shock to everyone that he has this problem? Especially someone who has studied medicine, their addictive qualities, and the dangers of taking strong analgesia........especially when Franny has practically got on his knees, begged for it, and then made out it was a joke.......
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