The Card Counter

The Card Counter ★★★½

A rich little text. You feel the weight and mechanics of guilt and rectification in very Schrader ways. It's pretty restrained except when it's at Abu Ghraib. Those scenes look like they're filmed with a 360 camera but flattened, which is a great disorienting effect I'm surprised I haven't seen more. Overall some really nice compositions...there's a great super wide shot of a huge, packed, shadowy poker tournament that's just sick!

Not sure Tiffany Haddish is really working here, but that's ok. She is likable.

Won't spoil anything, but it's absolutely wild Schrader has borrowed this one Bresson thing more than once. (According to Wikipedia, he's done this same allusion at least four times). Also the opening credits appear on an extreme closeup of a casino table, sort of resembling the textiles of Ozu-era ones? Who knows if that was the intent.

In the early VO, Oscar Isaac says, "I'd never read a book before, not all the way through."

Will liked this review