Player | Chicago Reader

Player

Rated NR 100 minutes 2010

New
An end credit offering "special thanks" to Bertolt Brecht and Alexander Pushkin underscores the talkiness of this neo-noir, whose story might have fared better onstage. An aging Nevada gambler (Robert Fleet) grooms a young femme fatale (Natalie Avital) for a big con, which he hopes his straitlaced son (Nick McCallum) will bankroll. Director Alina Szpak makes this an actors' piece, relying on one charged close-up after another, and the desert sequences are nicely rendered in overexposed, acid hues. But the movie's pacing is impeded by stilted black-and-white scenes evoking guys and dolls from a pre-Las Vegas era.

Film Credits

Director: Alina Szpak

Cast: Robert Fleet, Natalie Avital, Nick McCallum, Elizabeth Carlson, Stanley Herman and J. Rene Pena

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