The Card Counter
A bruising morality tale set in the fluorescent-lit world of competition poker, The Card Counter is the latest hypnotic outing from writer-director Paul Schrader (GAC Sydney Exclusive First Reformed). Executive produced by frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese, this twisting tinderbox stars Oscar Isaac as gambler and former serviceman William Tell. Travelling from casino to casino in stoic silence, his spartan existence is interrupted by the arrival of Cirk (Tye Sheridan), a revenge-obsessed young man with a proposition in mind. As Tell attempts to reckon with his unspeakable past, he leans on the help of financier La Linda (Tiffany Haddish) who might be offering a chance to start over. But as with all great tragedies, the gloomy motions of fate have other ideas.
Why You Should See This Film
A quietly thrilling portrait of guilt and salvation, The Card Counter finds Schrader in typically haunting form. Pairing his favourite themes – Robert Bresson, Calvinist morality, brooding antiheroes – with the lurid surrounds of the American casino, he’s crafted a frequently disturbing, often unexpectedly beautiful gem. From its blistering lead performance to its glittering production design to its moustachioed Willem Dafoe cameo, this film is as precise as they come. As with all of Schrader’s efforts, the less that is known in advance, the better.
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- Year: 2021
- Rating: MA15+
- Director: Paul Schrader
- Cast: Willem Dafoe, Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan
- Duration: 109 minutes
- Language: English