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The Music of Chance (1993)
Whilst traveling across America living off the money from a large inheritance, ex-fireman Nashe has a chance meeting with Pozzi, a professional gambler and card shark. Nashe agrees to fund the penniless Pozzi in a game of poker against two eccentric millionaires, Flower and Stone, in an attempt to regain some of his spent fortune. His gamble has unforeseen and bizarre consequences for both himself and Pozzi. This film is an almost exact translation of the novel by Paul Auster.

Dramatically understated, ‘The Music of Chance' chronicles one man's search (Mandy Patinkin plays Jim Nash) for himself, as he quits his job, loads his car and heads cross country. That his path crosses that of Jack Pozzi (James Spader) a drifter, card-sharp, down on his luck today, but eye's on the ‘big score' ahead, is not exactly unpredictable. What they encounter as a result is indeed surprising, as well as strenuous, and all together inappropriate to be delivered in the fantasy medium of film.

Look for a Paul Auster cameo at the end.
Not for all tastes, this film combines the unique film making approach of Philip Haas (Angels and Insects) with a story by an intellectual novelist, Paul Auster. Don't look to walk away from this one with a pleasant taste in your mouth, but you may find yourself a better person having watched it.
But the ending, the loose ends, the empty pointless sections of the plot, they left me just that bit too cold. I'm willing to accept that Auster's original novel may be a masterpiece, but I find it unacceptable to have the novel to hand to enjoy the film properly. I get the feeling that director Haas forgot that the audience might not have read it yet.

Though some poker in this film makes sense, its a tool to get to the end and the end isn't clear. Still, how many movies try to play the gane seriously. Not many. So this alone makes it a curiousity. Top class acting.
Marks : 6/10
Director Philip Haas James Spader Jack Pozzi
Writing Paul Auster Mandy Patinkin Jim Nashe
Cinematography Bernard Zitzermann M. Emmet Walsh Calvin Murks
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