Renowned writer and director Paul Schrader’s THE CARD COUNTER is finally hitting local cinemas this weekend and is not to be missed!
This intense, dark tale about loneliness, isolation and redemption tells the story of William Tell (Oscar Isaac), an ex-military interrogator turned gambler who travels from casino to casino, modestly working the poker tables and refusing to be recruited by gambling agent La Linda (Tiffany Haddish).
When he meets Cirk (Tye Sheridan), the troubled son of a man who served alongside him in the military, he sees it as an opportunity for redemption and atonement. So, he concocts a plan to mentor Cirk as an opportunity to forgive himself – and be forgiven in turn.
Told with Schrader’s trademark cinematic intensity, THE CARD COUNTER features riveting, rock-solid performances from Sheridan, while Dafoe is unsurprisingly excellent in a small but key role. However, the movie belongs to critically acclaimed and award-winning Isaac, and to Schrader’s terrifying script.
Isaac’s Tell is superbly supported by Emmy and Grammy award winner Haddish, who has established herself as one of the most sought-after comedic actresses and performers worldwide. She prepared for her role by hanging out and gambling in several casinos before they started production in early 2020.
The musical score and soundtrack were handled by Robert Levon Been, lead singer and songwriter for the group Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. He worked closely with Schrader, who is best-known as the screenwriter of intense cinematic classics such as Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, to write the tender, incantation-like songs that serve as an alternate narrative in the film.
Schrader uses THE CARD COUNTER, which received an 87% rating from Rotten Tomatoes, to examine broader horrors, delving deep into the theme of redemption. The film’s fascination lies in unpacking the psyche of its main character, and how he deals with the choices before him.
The film adds another weighty chapter to Paul Schrader’s long inquiry into man’s moral responsibility.
It is locally distributed by Filmfinity Pty (Ltd.) and will be released in South African cinemas on 22 October 2021.