Are we really ready for a solid Jewish comedy/drama with five blatant gentiles in the leads? I won’t bother dissecting each case, except to say that the exception, Steve Buscemi as the rabbi, can skip across any number of mideastern characters without stubbing his gifted toe.

I’m thinking Joseph Cedar, one of Israel’s most respected dramatic filmmakers, was making a private joke.

It’s Richard Gere as Norman Oppenheimer, that I have a problem with. Throughout the film we’re only reminded of how good Woody Allen or Alan Arkin would have been.

Let me say upfront that “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” is, despite Gere’s Norman, a curious and compelling film with a couple of great actors (Lior Ashkenazi and Steve Buscemi.) It’s not great sometimes, because of Gere it’s annoying, but it consistently leans toward pleasurable.

I like the plot, because it’s a strange and interesting stew of international politics and Lower East side soft street magic, the kind we loved in Joan Micklin Silver’s 1988 “Crossing Delancey.”

Norman Oppenheimer is your troublesome Jewish uncle, an ex-“macher” who is retired and bored, but still wants to be a player. Of course times have changed, deals are made now with more subtle electronic gestures and no pressure.

Our Norman is still alive and in the streets. He likes buttonholing people, passing out his cards: “Oppenheimer Strategies,” and if not making deals, trying to put together those who might.

Eventually, when he street-meets and befriends a low-level Israeli politician who is edging to becoming the Prime Minister, things look up for Norman.

After stalking him in lectures and hotel meetings, Norman becomes impressed with Eshel.

Now, Norman smells a possible partner in a financial deal, one that will assure a Harvard acceptance for a deal maker’s son, and raise, from an “anonymous donor,” cash to save a dying synagogue.

To seal the friendship, Norman buys him a $1,200 pair of shoes. Where Norman gets the money to buy the shoes, is never explained.

Norman, in fact, is never fully explained in depth. We never see where he lives, for he never goes home, but wanders the brisk, snowy streets night and day, in a nice but out-of-date camel hair coat, scarf and tweed cap. He talks of a wife and daughter, but are they real?

Norman’s decor and manner never suggest he’s homeless, and everyone seems to know Norman mostly as a bothersome stalking gnat, who accosts casual friends in the park who have to jog away from him.

Norman floats into business mixers in hotel ballrooms and noshes on free hors d’oeuvres, sits in on lectures and annoys passersby. In fact, at times, we get the impression that he may be an escapee from a Jewish home for the aged, or maybe some kind of Jewish angel, like Cary Grant’s angel in “The Bishop’s Wife,” come from heaven to promote deals in peace and prosperity.

Sometimes as we watch him move through the day, we fantasize that this could be, given impeachment and total disgrace, Donald Trump’s final ending.

Some reviewers give away too much of the ending or the few delightful and sad surprises. See it for yourself. I will say this, you don’t have to be a New York Jew to appreciate “Norman,” but it couldn’t hurt.

J.P. Devine is a former stage and screen actor.

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