Irish director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview With the Vampire, The End of the Affair) has always had a thing for offbeat dramas. So we should expect interesting things from his latest turn as director / screenwriter: The Good Thief. It opens April 16, but New York movie lovers can get an early peek of the flick at the New York City International Film Fleadh on March 20.
The Good Thief is the story of an aging gambler (played by Nick Nolte) named Bob Montagnet who inhabits his own grimy corner of the Nice underworld. This is a seedy universe, made all the worse by the easy availability of drugs and gambling – two bad habits Montagnet knows more than a thing or two about.
It gets to the point where Montagnet stages a casino heist, with the help of his accomplices Raoul (Gerard Darmon) and Paulo (Said Taghmaoui) to end a long streak of bad luck.
Someone, however, has tipped off the authorities. They, in the long run, could be the least of Montagnet’s troubles. As it is, his friendship with a cop has been stretched to the breaking point and a club owner turns against him when Montagnet attempts to protect a local prostitute. Meanwhile, the gang of criminal “experts” whom Montagnet hand-picks to execute his crime are all too vulnerable to the local temptations.
Jordan’s latest film was inspired by the Jean Pierre Melville classic Bob le Flambeur and is being touted as a clever caper rich with deception and duplicity. The Good Thief generated lots of buzz at the recent Toronto Film Festival. It also stars Jason Flemyng, Tcheky Karyo, Ryan Phillippe, and Ralph Fiennes as an art dealer and fencer suggestively named Tony Angel. Up next for Jordan is a swords-and-sandals epic based on Homer’s Greek classic, The Odyssey. ♦