Director: Paul Thomas Anderson Run Time: 102 min. Format: 35mm Release Year: 1997
Starring: F. William Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow, John C. Reilly, Philip Baker Hall, Samuel L. Jackson
Paul Thomas Anderson, USA, 1996, 35mm, 102 min.
Some call it a living. Others call it ‘hedging your bets.’ Half-wit John (John C. Reilly) finds himself down to his last dollar and stranded in Reno, where he meets professional gambler Sydney (a magnetic Philip Baker Hall), who takes pity on him, offering to school him in the finer points of the game. But tips don’t come cheap and, after two years, the cost of making money begins to outgross the winnings when John meets Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow), a cocktail waitress whose wager is with life itself. An auspicious, if not totally surprising, debut from Paul Thomas Anderson sees the young filmmaker craft a taut neo-noir out of small-time bets and high stake loses among a trio of lifetime losers who’ve lost count of the score. With memorable turns from Samuel L. Jackson and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Screening in 35mm!