We’re not going to lie: You might start feeling bad for Norman Oppenhemier, the persistent wannabe businessman played by Richard Gere, by the end of the first trailer for Norman: The Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer. (Watch exclusively above.) Everywhere Norman turns, he’s met by derision, rejection, or a very expensive shoe bill.
Minor spoiler alert: The footwear Norman buys for someone in trailer will eventually change turn it all around. That someone is Israeli politician Micah Ehsel (Lior Ashkenazi), and three years after Norman springs for those thousand-dollar clogs, Micah becomes prime minister, giving Norman the high-powered friend he’s always wanted.
That will mark The Rise of Norman, but as the title to the film makes clear, we can also expect a pretty epic downturn.
Gere, who adopts a thick New York accent for the role, has drawn major kudos for the film since it premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, with Deadline’s Pete Hammond calling it “the role of his career” and the New York Times‘ A.O. Scott hailing the Pretty Woman alum’s performance as “amazingly funny.”
Norman is written and directed by Israeli filmmaker Joseph Cedar, whose 2011 drama Footnote was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars. Also appearing in Norman are Dan Stevens (March’s Beauty and the Beast), Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Josh Charles, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Hank Azaria. Norman will be released this coming March.