The Card Counter (2021)

June 10th, Movie 11

I gained a whole new respect for Oscar Isaac after watching him on the Moon Knight Marvel TV show. His acting chops were outstanding. I had seen him in other films before, but he did not jump out at me as much as he did when he was Marc Specter on Disney +.

Perhaps I should go back and look closer at some of his other performances.

Oscar Isaac starred in The Card Counter, a drama involving a man who learned how to count cards while in a military prison and who began to use the skill as a gambler. Isaac was completely amazing in the role and his performance was easily the standout performance of the film.

Oscar Isaac played William Tell, who had a dark past that he was trying to put behind him when he was approached by La Linda (Tiffany Haddish). La Linda ran a stable of gamblers for a group of investors who back gamblers for a portion of their winnings. Tell turned her down. However, when he was approached by another person, a younger boy Cirk (Tye Sheridan), who told Tell that he knew who he really was and that Tell had known his father. Both were trained by a Major John Gordo (Willem Dafoe) in advanced interrogation techniques which led to Tell’s imprisonment and Cirk’s father’s suicide.

Tell convinces the boy to come with him and join him on his gambling trips. He called La Linda, telling her that he had changed his mind and wanted to join up.

Oscar Isaac was amazing here, but I do not want to take anything away from Tiffany Haddish either because she absolutely matched him in every scene that they shared.

The film took more swerves than I expected and it really worked. The whole narration by William Tell explaining some of the intricacies of poker as well as counting cards. It was a fascinating addition to the film that was already full of tension and suspense.

The character of William Tell was extremely deep and developed.

The Card Counter was a very solid and enjoyable film.

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