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Lay the Favourite (2012)
A light-hearted caper with a quality cast, Lay The Favourite is based on the true life story by Beth Raymer, and has been brought to the screen by director Stephen Frears. It’s not up to the standard of Frears’ best work, including the likes of The Grifters and High Fidelity, but he’s still having fun with a mixed bag of a movie.

The basic premise sees Rebecca Hall as a lap dancer, who relocates to Las Vegas. There, she lands a job working for a professional gambler, played by Bruce Willis. Catherine Zeta Jones and Joshua Jackson aren’t far behind, and Lay The Favourite then gets down to the job of finding something compelling for everyone to do. Sadly, that’s where it fumbles things a little, as the characters and setting are far more interesting than the narrative itself. It makes it a slightly erratic, still entertaining movie, with Hall and Willis in particular on good form. You get a fair few giggles for your money, too..

Everything in the film is in the book but not vice versa. The book is not particularly believable in Beth's behaviour, nor is she in the film. No drugs, no sex. Really? I don't care if it is true, its not believable.
Lay the Favourite

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DVD Zone 1 Zone 2
So how about gambling here. The chance to enhance this story with the war against bookmakers and America's archaic betting laws is completely missed. Apparently Dink made his lines up on the fly without analysis and gave 10s of thousands of dollars to known problem-gambling runners to place bets. Just such nonsense.

What is missing is that all-important connective tissue that ties everything together. Crises come barreling down, you can see them a mile away and the characters are thinly drawn. At least a book about gambling sort of got made into a film. What has happened to director Stephen Frears? The book is better than the film.
Marks : 5/10
Director Stephen Frears Rebecca Hall Beth Raymer
Producer Anthony Bregman Bruce Willis Dink Heimowitz
Writing Beth Raymer Catherine Zeta-Jones Tulip
Cinematography Michael McDonough Joshua Jackson Jeremy
Cert./Runtime 15 / 94 Vince Vaughn Rosie