THE CARD COUNTER
Director: Paul Schrader
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan, Willem Dafoe
Writer/director Paul Schrader has written some of the greatest films of all time with Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. His new film stars The Card Counter gives star Oscar Isaac a rich character to toil over. Oscar Isaac’s character, Bill Tell, learned to count cards in prison. The opening voiceover felt akin to Goodfellas in its delivery as Bill says “I never thought I’d be in prison, but I’ve adjusted quite well.” He goes on to describe the art of card counting for the game of blackjack. He has eccentric habits as we see him go from hotel to hotel traveling down the poker circuit. What’s eccentric is how he wraps everything in his room in white sheets. One of the casinos is hosting a Global Security Conference where Bill meets Cirk (Tye Sheridan) who seems to know Bill and points out the connection they both have to the key note speaker, John Gordo. As Gordo, Willem Dafoe presents a menacing soul who once tortured people at Guantanamo Bay. Bill takes Cirk under his wing hoping to his turn life around but both are tormented by the past and the lingering trauma at the hands of John Gordo. The film also stars Tiffany Haddish as La Linda, who befriends Bill as she finds wealthy backers for the winning poker players.
Here’s my review