(1998) dir. Mike Hodges
Croupier is a pretentious yarn about a writer/croupier who merges his “real” self with his fictional “self” while toiling in the casinos of London and researching his brilliant novel. The film attmepts some noir-ish street cred with its details of the seedy backside of the casinos.
It’s low-budget English film-making, for what it’s worth. Clive Owen is a poor man’s Jude Law almost.
I would compare this rather unfavorably with Christopher Nolan’s Following (1998), another semi-pretentious English Noir from the same year, only a more successful version of the researching writer slumming it into darkness.
To the film’s credit, I think its amorality could have given it its needed edginess. I think it would have been better if the protagonist hadn’t been a writer. The reflexive commentary feels like the seed of its pretention.
Instead of repeating myself, ad nauseum, here, I will say no more.