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Clive Owen - Croupier
Hold on tightly, let go lightly.
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Above thanks to Genevieve
Emily Blunt reviews Croupier. Thanks, Emily
The Movie Review Query Engine has all the reviews for Croupier listed HERE (Thanks, Nick)
9/28/00 - From New York Confidential - By Jeffrey Wells
An Unlucky Croupier
Croupier deserves a break in terms of its Oscar eligibility, but will the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board members oblige? I'm told by Academy spokesperson John Pavlik that the odds of a waiver being granted are "infinitesimal." However, if any film out there has earned the right to be cut some slack, it's this one.
The fact that Croupier was shown theatrically in Singapore in June 1998 and (according to the IMDB) had a TV airing in the Netherlands in November of that year appears to disqualify it as a nominee, according to Academy rules....Rest of Article here Thanks, Selene
Croupier - My Thoughts
Clive Owen gives such a strong, controlled performance in this film. He is the center of it just as surely as Russell Crowe is of Gladiator. You can't take your eyes off him. My husband says he is a mixture of Nicholas Cage and Robert Mitchum. High praise, I thought!
The twisty plot and sudden flashes of violence keep you on the edge of your seat. After seeing this film, you will never have the urge to become a croupier in a gambling casino!
Hope it has a wider showing. It deserves it.
Portland Oregonian Wednesday, August 16, 2000
'CROUPIER' PLAYS A WINNING HAND
DOUGLAS J. ROWE - The Associated Press
Clive Owen has come a long way from being on the dole in his native England and thinking you can't be taught acting. Recently back from a trip to the West Coast, he's drinking decaf coffee in downtown Manhattan and expressing surprise that everyone in the movie industry claims to have seen him in "Croupier," the summer's sleeper hit. "Everybody seemed to be genuinely enthusiastic about it," he says, a little wide-eyed after his red-eye flight..
...In its 17 weeks of release, the movie has played on barely more than 130 screens. Yet it cracked the box-office Top 20 four times -- all in the last six weeks-- establishing itself as a word-of-mouth success.
Owen stars as aspiring novelist Jack Manfred, whose writer's block is exacerbated by his editor's urging to write a book on soccer. So when Jack's loser father gets him a job at a London casino as a croupier, it's too tempting to resist; plus, he's had previous experience.
Part of the film's hypnotic quality, which includes an opening shot of a spinning roulette wheel and ball, is Jack's voice-over -- so often a cinematic crutch but a wondrous complement when it works, as in Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" and in this film. "Welcome back, Jack, to the house of addiction," he says upon returning to a casino job.
He usually talks in the third person, partly because he decides to write a novel titled "Croupier" with a protagonist named Jake. "I knew straight away that the film rested an awful lot on the voice-over inside the guy's head, and what my voice-over does very early on in the film (is) get you right inside the head of that character," Owen says, recalling when he first read the script by Paul Mayersberg (screenwriter of "The Man Who Fell to Earth"). Owen felt it forged an unusually direct connection with the audience. "It's the strongest relationship in the film -- the voice-over (with the audience). It's stronger than any of the relationships with the girls," Owen says, referring to the three women in Jack's life.
Realizing that the voice-over could have been ponderous, Owen learned all those lines, spoke them during rehearsals for the respective scenes and ran the words through his head when the scenes were shot. So when you hear him speaking a particular thought in the movie, he is thinking what's being said at that moment. "And I think that comes across," says Owen, who also went to croupier school to learn the moves -- handling the chips, clearing a table, sharply dealing blackjack.
Married with two daughters, aged three and a half and one, he hardly gambles himself, although he admits to an occasional trip to the racetrack.
Looking natty in a three-button khaki suit, Owen has a passing resemblance to Dylan McDermott, and his magnetic screen presence has been compared to Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Willis, Terence Stamp and Robert Mitchum.
Owen hardly gambles himself, although he admits to an occasional trip to the racetrack. "It's quite cool," Owen says. "They're all so different in a way." The best comparison, though, may come from "Croupier's" director, Mike Hodges, who made a classic British gangster film, 1971's "Get Carter," starring Michael Caine: "Clive is extraordinary; he's the most precise actor I've worked with since Michael Caine."
...Owen, who comes from a working-class upbringing, wanted to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art when he set out to be an actor. But his career counselor suggested a school he considered inferior. Within weeks, he left it, disillusioned and feeling that he couldn't be taught acting.
"Two years later, after doing absolutely nothing, just bumming around and signing on the dole," he says, "I thought, 'I got to do something.' " So he applied to his first choice, the Royal Academy, and got in.
Now, because of his success in a role in which he facilely deals cards and spins roulette wheels, he's about to cash in. He's already done another movie ("Greenfingers," about prisoners who become champion gardeners) and a "Second Sight" follow-up.
And after his Hollywood trip, he knows greater opportunities are coming his way, but he doesn't want to talk about it so as not to jinx them. "The bottom line is: I've always wanted to be in film," he says, expressing the hope that "Croupier" will allow him to pick even better roles. "My definition of success really is to have a little bit of choice."
- See A Great Review of Croupier HERE -
In Time for the Toronto Film Festival
But it's Clive Owen, who was so fine as the incestuous brother in "Close My Eyes" and as the homosexual imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp in "Bent," who steals the show. If you need an actor who emotes thunderstorms while his flesh is as still as a spring day, look no further. (From Indiewire.com)
- SOME might argue that Clive Owen's Jack Manfred in Croupier is
a true son of Caine's Jack Carter; and Hodges admits a link between the
two. "If you watch Michael Caine move, his whole thinking process is deliberate
and carefully worked out. I think Owen in Croupier is similarly meticulous."
Rest of Article Here
at This Is London - Thanks, Selene
Girlfriend: "I love you Jack, you know that." Jack's voice-over: "And he half-loved her. And she knows that, too."
The Toronto Sun Friday, August 18, 2000 Movies LIVELY CROUPIER A SURE BET BY BRUCE KIRKLAND Croupier is the sleeper hit of 2000.
Already a smash in its native Britain, exploding in limited release in the U.S. and one of the most exciting discoveries of the 2000 Floating Film Festival, Croupier arrives in Toronto today bursting with energy and attitude.
Directed by veteran Mike Hodges as a contemporary film noir, this lively if cynical thriller rocks the Casbah and makes a real star of mature British actor Clive Owen, who comes to us fully formed, and informed, in his mid-thirties.
Croupier is the kind of British film that arrives rarely, yet steadily. It reminds us of predecessors such as The Last Good Friday, Mona Lisa and Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, not in story or style, but in toughness, intelligence and energy. Hollywood doesn't make these movies.
Set in the world of hard-core gambling in London and layered with a novelist's interior angst, Croupier is a multi-layered, bittersweet caper flick that deftly combines intrigue, romance and familial complications.
The cast is uniformly delicious. Owen especially is riveting on screen, a quiet, intensely male presence in the film in much the same way Russell Crowe commands a scene. Owen's eyes smoulder, his restraint suggests something darker, edgier and more dangerous than some callow youth.
In the film, he plays a failing novelist who is obliged to go back to work as a croupier at a London casino. He gets the job through his gambler father's extensive contacts.
As the work takes over his life and his psyche, a new novel begins to take shape in his head. It will be his own story as a croupier. Owen's exceptionally well-written and beautifully delivered voice-over narration gives the audience the character's interior life and the movie its tortured soul.
As is usual in film noir, the women in our hero's life are catalysts yet secondary to his focus, in this case the emerging novel and the casino adventures that fuel it.
Three women are crucial: His skeptical girlfriend, who is a store detective (Gina McKee); his fellow croupier and a wild card in the deck he is dealt (Kate Hardie); and a classy South African gambler (Alex Kingston), who is as seductive as she is mysterious. All three femmes fatales are terrific. Kingston, though, deserves special praise because she is so different, so much more engaging than on TV's ER series.
Croupier is a near masterpiece. The startling beauty of Hodges' film, which was written by Paul Mayersberg, is that I could give away the entire labyrinth of plot and it would still be enjoyable, and thoroughly so because of the multi-dimensional people it portrays with such an uncanny knack.
Obviously, I won't do that, so there is double the pleasure in the genuine surprises that enrich character development. The point is that the plot is more than a mechanical device and the movie is far more complex than its plot.
CROUPIER Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes Rated: AA Director: Mike Hodges Stars: Clive Owen Alex Kingston