5 December 2012 1:19 PM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

“You can't blame Stephen Frears for trying” seems to be the mantra for "Lay the Favorite," a mild romp through the T&A world of Las Vegas, gambling and literary adaptation. After all, "High Fidelity" is an iconic film to obsessive nerds (Need proof? See: every listicle on the Internet) and Frears is no slouch to crafting strong and/or sexy female characters (Tamara Drew, Cherí, The Queen). But what happens when he tries to mash them up and form the unholy love child of a stat geek and a bubbly idiot savant who used to be a stripper? You get Beth Raymer (the film is based on Raymer's memoir), played by a nearly unrecognizable Rebecca Hall, a down-on-her-luck stripper who goes from trying to set the world handstand record with a suburban client and sipping martinis to giving a freebie to another customer, who proudly shows off his big »

- John Lichman

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