A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.
A story about a troubled boy growing up in England, set in 1983. He comes across a few skinheads on his way home from school, after a fight. They become his new best friends even like family. Based on experiences of director Shane Meadows.
Jack Manfred is an aspiring writer going nowhere fast. To make ends meet, and against his better judgement, he takes a job as a croupier. He finds himself drawn into the casino world and the job gradually takes over his life; his relationship with girlfriend Marion begins to deteriorate. One gambler in particular catches his attention: Jani, whom he starts to see outside of working hours - a serious violation of casino rules. Jani is down on her luck; under pressure from her creditors she approaches Jack, asking him to be the inside man for a planned heist at the casino. Jack carefully considers the odds; it all looks so simple, but even a professional like Jack can't predict the cards he will be dealt. Written by
When Jack is dealing poker at his friends house party, after an elaborate shuffle he offers the cards to be cut to the gentleman on his left, if he were a professional he would know that you cut to the right and deal to the left. See more »
Now he had become the still center of that spinning wheel of misfortune. The world turned 'round him leaving him miraculously untouched. The croupier had reached his goal. He no longer heard the sound of the ball.
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A dense but rewarding film. It has a terrific performance from Owen, poised (in 1998) to become the international A-lister that he now is. He has to play three roles - two in shot, Jack and the emergent Jake, protagonist of the book Jack's writing - and a third, disembodied Jack in voice-over. The film follows his struggle with fatalism (or chance) and grand design. Whether as a writer, a croupier or an observer he likes to be in control, risk free.
Making sure this isn't quite how it works is a pretty solid list of fine support actors. Alex Kingston turns up with an impressively rendered South African accent and more sex appeal than the distilled accumulation of all her work on ER. Potent stuff. Gina McKee plays a conventional love interest without simply being wallpaper; David Hamilton runs the Casino with an ambiguity that mirrors Jack's.
Mike Hodges engineers tight, claustrophobic shots and choppy editing. Everything about the film is up close and suffocating: shots in cars; Jack's tiny flat; stairwells and copulating couples in toilet cubicles. Owen's Jack is neither repelled by nor engages with this proximity. It only affects him if it foists itself upon him violently or he chooses to deal with it. Whether or not he actually has a choice is the point of this entertaining film. 7/10
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