LOGLINE: After teaching himself card counting in military prison, a former interrogator’s plan to bet small and win modestly falls apart when his dark past catches up with him.
THE WRITER: Screenwriter PAUL SCHRADER is best known for his collaborations with director Martin Scorsese, including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The Last Temptation of Christ. As a writer/director, Schrader’s films include American Gigolo (which made Richard Gere a household name), Affliction (for which actor James Coburn won an Academy Award), and 2017’s First Reformed, which brought Schrader his first Oscar nomination (for Best Original Screenplay).
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Executive produced by Scorsese, The Card Counter stars Oscar Isaac (Star Wars sequel trilogy, X-Men: Apocalypse, Dune), Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip), Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One, The Tender Bar), and four-time Oscar nominee Willem Defoe (Platoon, Spider-Man 2).
The Focus Features film premiered last September at the Venice Film Festival and was released theatrically a week later. With a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 86%, the “bruising character study” (The Hollywood Reporter) has landed on a number of ten-best lists for the year, including Cahiers du Cinéma, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, RogerEbert.com, and IndieWire, and was included in a tweet from President Barack Obama listing his personal favorite movies of 2021.
Rated R. 81 pages. 111 minutes. Drama.
BRIAN HERSKOWITZ will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. Brian currently holds the title of lead faculty in screenwriting for the prestigious Boston University in Los Angeles – Writer In Hollywood Program, has taught online for UCLA Extension, and spent five years as the sitcom instructor for Writer’s Bootcamp. He has written for such TV shows as Blossom, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Acapulco Heat, Dream On, Renegade, and Murder, She Wrote. and in 2014 released he released the book Process to Product: From Concept to Script: A Practical Guide for the Screenwriter. His feature screenwriting credits include the horror/thriller Darkroom and the family comedy Tio Papi. Also a talented actor, producer, and director, Brian made the award-winning short film Odessa or Bust starring Jason Alexander, Red Buttons, and Jason Schwartzman, and the domestic abuse documentary 1736: Somewhere To Turn. Find out more about Brian and his projects at brianherskowitz.com.