Coming Attractions,  entertainment,  Film Festivals,  Film Reviews,  Focus Features

Tiffany Haddish and Oscar Isaac Sizzle in The Card Counter

Told with Paul Schrader’s trademark cinematic intensity, this is a revenge thriller centers around  William Tell (Oscar Isaac), an ex-military interrogator turned gambler who’s existence on the casino trail is shattered when approached by a vulnerable and angry young man seeking assistance in the execution of revenge on a military colonel. Seeing an opportunity for redemption through Tell’s relationship with Cirk (Tye Sheridan), while constantly struggling to wrangle the ghosts of his past decisions. It’s the type of behavior often associated with military PTSD, especially from those who actively fought or were involved in some intense interrogation torture techniques leaving a scar of guilt in their subconscious psyche.

In general, The Card Counter is a lethargic burn as we witness Tell perfecting counting cards in prison and upon release checking into rooms where he methodically covers the entire room in white sheets and tied off with twine cords.  However, the cast makes this film work on multiple levels.  Oscar Isaac is a movie star in the true sense of the word whose charisma and smoldering silence draws you in unapologetically.  But, when paired with powerhouse Tiffany Haddish (La Linda), their chemistry transforms into absolute fire.  I seriously had the urge to grab a cigarette and I don’t even smoke. in comedy, but inhabiting a strong, in charge woman who is confident and in control of herself and others. Plus, it was nice to see Haddish inhabit a role that isn’t rooted Tye Sheridan (Cirk) is fantastic as he straddles that line of pretending to be in control adult, but is still a little boy who wants his way by any means necessary.

On the cinematic tip, Paul Schrader invokes some really cool sound and camera tricks ranging from intense sound heart beats, breathing and chaotic heavy metal infused within a hallway scenes through a fish focus lens. My favorite shot was a nod to The Graduate with a shot of Oscar as he confronts Gordo(Willem Dafoe) in is own home. Yet, the way he shot that interrogation scene with Cirk creating an intense, unease resulting in holding your breath to point of not knowing when to exhale again.

Produced by Focus Features, The Card Counter will shake up your emotions while peaking your interest in educating you on the inside world of gamblers, their world and their vices – past and present

I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic-Expert, I am an member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association, African American Film Critics Association, Online Association of Female Film Critics and Alliance of Women Film Journalists. My op-eds or features have been seen in VARIETY, RogerEbert.com, Maltin on Movies, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, NPR, Good Day LA, Turner Classic Movies and KCRW Press Play with Madeline Brand. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Sundays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live or on Rotten Tomatoes. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

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