Lay The Favorite - Worth A Punt ?
Review of the latest film from director Stephen Frears - Lay The Favorite starring Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Lay The Favorite - Review
As someone who enjoys the occasional bet I was intrigued by the publicity for Stephen Frears's latest film “Lay The Favorite” – it’s been a while since Frears produced the well made hustle film “The Grifters” – would his penchant for this type of film make “Lay The Favorite” a success ? .
The film is based on a book of the same name written by Beth Raymer – a true story covering Beth’s move to Las Vegas in 2001 and her subsequent adventures.
The film opens with Beth Raymer ( played by the always watchable Rebecca Hall ) trying to make a living as a “private dancer” but realising that she needs a change in lifestyle. Beth decides to move to Las Vegas with her dog Otis in search of a job as a cocktail waitress at a large casino ,convinced that this is her road to prosperity . Beth soons finds that the streets of Vegas are not paved with gold and asks one of her fellow guests at the downbeat motel in which she is residing if they know of any potential job opportunities. One friend suggests a guy called Dink – and the next day Beth pays a visit to the offices of Dink Inc .
It transpires that Dink Heimowitz ( Bruce Willis ) is a professional gambler working the sports books with the aid of two trusty assistants but needs an extra pair of hands to assist him with making bets and moving money . Beth impresses Dink with her head for figures and is taken on to Team Dinc – much to the annoyance of Mrs Dink – the dreaded Tulip Heimowitz played with relish by an on form Catherine Zeta-Jones.
We then follow Beth’s adventures , falling for the ever lovable Dink , leaving Dink Inc. after an ultimatum from Tulip and then working offshore for a loud and slightly (!) dodgy New York bookie called Rosie played by a lively Vince Vaughn.
The film then moves on to show Beth getting into serious trouble offshore with Rosie the bookie and the efforts of Dink , Tulip and her love interest Jeremy ( Joshua Jackson) trying to extricate her with some serious efforts to “ Lay The Favorite” to recover lost funds .
Despite this being a true story the storyline isn’t great – it’s a fairly single track tale which doesn’t leave too much to the imagination but having said that it is entirely watchable with some great performances particularly from Willis and Zeta-Jones.
So worth a punt ? I think so , not a nailed on winner but definitely an each way chance !