Posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2021 by
Oscar Isaac is a former military interrogator turned gambler in Paul Schrader‘s The Card Counter, a simmering-looking drama that also stars Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan, and Willem Dafoe. Isaac’s character is haunted by the horrible things from his past – and he might just have a shot at both redemption and revenge. Watch The Card Counter trailer below.
The Card Counter Trailer
Paul Schrader, a cranky old coot with questionable opinions on pretty much everything who also happens to be a great writer and director, is back with The Card Counter. Oscar Isaac leads the film, playing a former military man who clearly did some terrible things in his past. Now he’s a card counter and gambler, drifting around with slicked-back hair and using that patented Schrader voice-over narration.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Redemption is the long game in Paul Schrader’s THE CARD COUNTER. Told with Schrader’s trademark cinematic intensity, the revenge thriller tells the story of an ex-military interrogator turned gambler haunted by the ghosts of his past decisions.
That’s very vague! But that’s okay – I’m willing to let The Card Counter keep its secrets until the time is right. The film will have its world premiere at the 2021 Venice Film Festival in September, where it will be competing for prizes like the Golden Lion. It’s Schrader’s first feature since his excellent First Reformed, so there’s bound to be a lot of attention heaped onto this thing. Then you have to take into account Schrader himself. The filmmaker is surprisingly active on Facebook, and he’s also prone to saying some…uh…controversial things (just google it, I’m not going to repeat it here). I guess the question some people have to ask is: can we separate the art from the artist here? I think so, but I also think that Schrader’s personal life and personal politics feed directly into his work.
Schrader directs from his own script, with Braxton Pope, Lauren Mann, and David Wulf serving as producers, and Martin Scorsese, William Olsson, Lee Broda, Ruben Islas, and Stanley Preschutti acting as executive producers.
The Scorsese Connection
Schrader and Scorsese have worked together several times, with amazing results. Schrader wrote the scripts for Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, and Bringing Out the Dead. And according to Schrader, Scorsese was one of the people who helped shape The Card Counter. The filmmaker said he screened the film virtually for several people, including Scorsese. “I asked them all, ‘I have four more scenes to shoot. I can rewrite them. What am I missing? What do I need to add? How should I write these four scenes?’” Schrader. “I was able to rewrite these scenes and make these relationships much better. And not all productions get to do that.”
While a part of me really just wants Scorsese to shoot a Schrader script again, this is the next best thing, and makes me even more interested in the pic. The Card Counter will hit theaters on September 10, 2021.
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