Hard Eight (Thomas Anderson, 1996): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm
This is part of the Paul Thomas Anderson retrospective at the Prince Charles. Details here.
Chicago Reader review:
'A pared-down crime thriller set mainly in Reno, this first
feature by writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is impressive for its
lean and unblemished storytelling, but even more so for its
performances. Especially good is Philip Baker Hall, a familiar character
actor best known for his impersonation of Richard Nixon in Secret Honor,
who's never had a chance to shine on-screen as he does here. In his
role as a smooth professional gambler who befriends a younger man (John
C. Reilly), Hall gives a solidity and moral weight to his performance
that evokes Spencer Tracy, even though he plays it with enough nuance to
keep the character volatile and unpredictable. Samuel L. Jackson and
Gwyneth Paltrow, both of whom have meaty parts, are nearly as good, and
when Hall and Jackson get a couple of good long scenes together the
sparks really fly.'
Here is the trailer.