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A few good news from the festival circuit

Bienvenue sur le blog de Bruno !
Voici quelques news en français du circuit des festivals francophones. Laissez moi un commentaire quand vous le pouvez.


Is Robert Wyatt’s 2014 remake of The Gambler the greatest movie of its kind?


Any film that takes place in and around a casino automatically gains an edginess and kudos, and in the modern internet age, where online gambling is such a popular arena, the topic has a greater resonance than ever.


Over the years, there have been some truly memorable films in which gambling plays an important part. Casino Royale, The Sting, Ocean’s Eleven, The Cincinnati Kid and Croupier all spring to mind. But it could be argued that The Gambler is the greatest of all for exposing the less glamourous side of addiction and gambling from the perspective of a man battling his inner demons.


A cautionary tale for the online gambling generation


Since the film came out in 2014, the world of online gambling has exploded in popularity. Sites like give an indication of the number of online casinos, and the variety of offers available to a broad international client base. As such, the topic of gambling has a higher profile in our consciousnesses than it has ever had before. Today, we can truly empathise with those who experience the highs and lows of the casino.


An old, old story


The film is based on a story that has been around for some 150 years. Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote the novel in 1867, and at the time, the Russian novelist was, himself, a frequent sight at the gaming tables of Wiesbaden and Baden-Baden, with a reputation for losing more than he won at the roulette wheel.


Over the years, it has been adapted numerous times. Prokofiev’s opera of the same name premiered in 1929, and has been performed hundreds of times around the world ever since, while the 1971 movie adaptation starring James Caan brought the action to 20th century



The 2014 film


Yet it is the 2014 production that really packs a punch for the modern-day audience. Mark Wahlberg has taken his fair share of stick over the years for taking on predominantly light weight roles, but he more than makes up for it here.


He plays the character of Jim Bennett, a Los Angeles English professor who also happens to be a high-stakes gambler. When the bankroll runs dry, he is forced to accept a loan from gangster Neville Baraka, played by Michael Kenneth Williams, on particularly menacing form.


From there, we can only look on in horror as both his personal and professional life slowly but surely begin to unravel. His dysfunctional relationship with his mother, played by the ever-reliable Jessica Lange and his deepening relationship with one of his students (Brie Larsen) only add to the sense that this is a man on an unstoppable collision course with disaster.


The film makes for thought-provoking and uncompromising viewing, something that is by no means common in modern day Hollywood. For those who are not afraid to lift up the rock and see the less glitzy and glamourous side of gambling, this is a film you simply mustn’t miss.




About Bruno

chatelin bruno

This Blog in french, is managed by Bruno Chatelin

It covers the french film festivals circuit with ambience and news.
Videos and audio podcasts.

C'est qui Bruno?
HEC, publicitaire chez Intermarco Publicis, DMM et JWT puis distributeur chez Sony Pictures (Directeur Marketing) de 1987 à 1995 puis UGC FOX (Directeur Général de 95 à 97, à la création du GIE)

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