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The Benefactor

  • Film
  • 2 out of 5 stars
the benefactor

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Richard Gere plays an oddball philanthropist in this misguided melodrama

Has Richard Gere been hitting the bong? Of course not, but why else star in this borderline ridiculous drama as eccentric dope-smoking philanthropist Franny – a man with a dark secret and a lion’s mane of white hair that makes him look like a stoned Santa? Five years after the death of his oldest friends – a husband and wife couple – in a car accident, Franny swoops into the life of their pregnant daughter Olivia (Dakota Fanning) and her doctor husband Luke (Theo James) like a lottery win.

Without asking, he impulsively buys them a house and wangles Luke a job in a hospital he’s built. Is there something creepy about Franny’s aggressive generosity and need to be needed? In a film with a better script, yes. But this one has preposterous lines like: ‘Your job is to cure kids, mine is to make them feel better.’ And poor Dakota Fanning. Her role entirely consists of anxiously rubbing her prosthetic baby bump.

Written by
Cath Clarke

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 26 February 2016
  • Duration:90 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Andrew Renzi
  • Screenwriter:Andrew Renzi
  • Cast:
    • Richard Gere
    • Dakota Fanning
    • Theo James
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