Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. France/United Kingdom/Germany/Ireland, 1998. ARTE, Channel Four Films, La Sept-Arte, Little Bird, Tatfilm, Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Screenplay by Paul Mayersberg. Cinematography by Michael Garfath. Produced by Jonathan Cavendish. Music by Simon Fisher-Turner. Production Design by Jon Bunker. Costume Design by Caroline Harris. Film Editing by Les Healey. National Board of Review Awards 2000.
Stardom for Clive Owen came about thanks to this stylish, minor heist film. He plays a struggling writer who becomes a croupier in a casino for the cash, getting more and more addicted to the night life and allowing his relationship with his girlfriend (Gina McKee) to fall to pieces. Meanwhile, a burgeoning affair with a casino regular (Alex Kingston) results in his being drawn into a robbery plan that seems foolproof…but are they ever? Highly entertaining, thoroughly engaging, this wonderful film is probably more responsible for the Guy Ritchie ripoffs than Ritchie himself is, but none of them have topped it yet.