Lay the Favourite
the Favourite,’ Rebecca Hall plays Beth- a cash-strapped erotic dancer
who makes the move to Vegas in search of her big break. In no time at
all she lands a job working for Dink (Bruce Willis) a professional
gambler, and her affinity for numbers quickly earns her his admiration.
But the relationship blossoms beyond one of mutual respect, landing Beth
in hot water with Dink’s wife Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones.)
resulting emotional turmoil not only threatens Dink’s livelihood and
marriage, but the core of who Beth is. It becomes a question of whether
she’ll remain the bright, bubbly naďve out-of-towner, or whether the
cynical gleam of Vegas will rub off on her and leave her tainted.
pairing of Bruce Willis and Rebecca Hall, who respectively play the
world-weary cynic and the bright-eyed optimist, makes for a dynamic
on-screen relationship. The movie is full of odd-ball characters, and
each one imparts something a little different to the story. You’re never
quite sure where it’s going to end up, or what situation Beth is going
to find herself in next.
stand out performance comes from Catherine Zeta-Jones, as the
hard-bitten, long-suffering wife. Vince Vaughn and Joshua Jackson are
functional in their roles, although the script doesn’t give them much to
a few nice character-driven moments and an intriguing story, ’Lay the
Favourite’ never really gets there. The setup is weak, with the opening
few scenes feeling rushed and nervous. Characters suddenly appear in the
story in a way that jars you. The soundtrack is obtrusive, with tracks
that don’t really capture the essence of the moment or the emotion that
it should convey. There are tantalising hints at a depth to Beth’s
character that go beyond the ditzy stereotype, but these are left
nothing to get too excited about in the presentation of this film on
Blu-Ray. The usually drab locations don’t do the format justice, so
there’s nothing to recommend this over the standard DVD release unless
you’re a full-on HD fanatic. The audio quality is acceptable, although
there are a few scenes where conversations are taking place between two
characters, and background noise gets in the way.
characters are likeable, the performances are sound and the feel-good
story is satisfying, in the same way that a light lunch is- nothing too
much to digest, but at least you know you’ve had something. A
movie that sits tentatively on the good side of average.