TV Review: Richard Dreyfuss brings life to Madoff

If there was doubt in anyone’s mind that Bernie Madoff was a terrible person, the two-night miniseries Madoff will dispel it. At one point, the fraudulent financier, played with just enough scenery-munching by Richard Dreyfuss, is listening to a speech by Holocaust survivor, Nobel laureate, and Madoff victim Elie Wiesel. “Elie Wiesel, virtuous humanitarian,” Madoff says by way of introduction. “Didn’t stop me for a minute from taking his money.”

Madoff is the by-the-numbers story of how a lower-middle-class Jewish kid from Queens rose to heights from which he was able to defraud his investors of almost $65 billion. Madoff is entertaining and watchable, but it’s also facile and a strange choice for ABC. It has a movie-of-the-week feel that is almost retro. It’s the kind of event that the broadcast networks don’t make as much as they used to, leaving these kinds of television …

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