I love Rounders, the script had been around for a while and apparently turned down by every studio that read it at least once. It’s about Poker, card players, Texas Hold’em and the hustlers who make a living from it. It also features a world champion in Jonny Chan.
I play Poker, but I play the cards instead of the man, and this film, and its two bookend sequences are about how to play the man rather than the cards. The man to be played is Teddy KGB a performance with a real touch of the eccentric by John Malkovich.
I’ve been watching this film for 20 years, and it doesn’t get old. And you don’t need to know anything about card play to love and enjoy the movie. Its script is sharp, a little clichéd in places but it stands as one of the great films about games (The Hustler also sits in this genre).
Mat Damon’s character does show deliberate restraint when not sleeping with Famke Jansen – I put this down to his love of cards, but it does seem a terrible oversight.
The rather pony trailer is below…
So, 62 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.