Lucky You

Rated PG-13 2007

Curtis Hanson's drama, set against the world of competitive poker, has been batted around the Warner Brothers release schedule so many times now (it was originally set to open in September of last year) that many had begun to wonder if perhaps the Oscar-winning L.A. Confidential director had drawn a bad hand. As it turns out, Lucky You is probably the best American movie in years to receive such unceremonious treatment. Despite having directed Eminem (quite adeptly) in 8 Mile, Hanson is at heart an unapologetically old-fashioned guy committed to making movies for adults in an industry that has surrendered itself to hormonal adolescents. The story is drawn along classical lines -- a down-on-his-luck pro poker player (Eric Bana), forever in the shadow of his world-champion dad (Robert Duvall), takes one last stab at the World Series -- but the parallels Lucky You draws between the game of cards and the game of life are thoughtful and true, as is the way Hanson (a Reno native) films Las Vegas in all its glittering desperation. The one weak spot is Drew Barrymore as an aspiring chanteuse newly arrived from Bakersfield, but like the hardboiled quickies Hanson grew up so enamored of, Lucky You is ultimately a story of honor among men in which everything else is fully expendable.

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Lucky You

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