Player | Chicago Reader

Player

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.

Credits

Director:

  • Alina Szpak

Cast:

  • Robert Fleet
  • Natalie Avital
  • Nick McCallum
  • Elizabeth Carlson
  • Stanley Herman
  • J. Rene Pena

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