Writer/dircetor Paul Schrader‘s The Card Counter hits US cinemas on 10 September 2021. Starring Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan and Willem Dafoe, the film is executive produced by Schrader’s Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead collaborator Martin Scorsese.
The Card Counter looks intriguing – and Oscar Isaac seems to be relishing the darkness of the material. This looks to continue Schrader’s bad people doing bad things whilst searching for redemption theme. I’m happy with that and this looks good to me.
The film, written and directed by Schrader, follows William Tell (Isaac), a gambler and former serviceman who sets out to reform a young man seeking revenge on a mutual enemy from their past. Tell just wants to play cards. His spartan existence on the casino trail is shattered when he is approached by Cirk, a vulnerable and angry young man seeking help to execute his plan for revenge on a military colonel. Tell sees a chance at redemption through his relationship with Cirk. Gaining backing from mysterious gambling financier La Linda, Tell takes Cirk with him on the road, going from casino to casino until the unlikely trio set their sights on winning the World Series of poker in Las Vegas. But keeping Cirk on the straight-and-narrow proves impossible, dragging Tell back into the darkness of his past.