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Lay the Favourite [DVD]

Bruce Willis , Rebecca Hall , Stephen Frears    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: £6.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Lay the Favourite [DVD] + Hit and Run [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Jan 2013
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,774 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



A light-hearted caper with a quality cast, Lay The Favourite is based on the true life story by Beth Raymer, and has been brought to the screen by director Stephen Frears. It’s not up to the standard of Frears’ best work, including the likes of The Grifters and High Fidelity, but he’s still having fun with a mixed bag of a movie.

The basic premise sees Rebecca Hall as a lap dancer, who relocates to Las Vegas. There, she lands a job working for a professional gambler, played by Bruce Willis. Catherine Zeta Jones and Joshua Jackson aren’t far behind, and Lay The Favourite then gets down to the job of finding something compelling for everyone to do. Sadly, that’s where it fumbles things a little, as the characters and setting are far more interesting than the narrative itself. It makes it a slightly erratic, still entertaining movie, with Hall and Willis in particular on good form. You get a fair few giggles for your money, too.

There’s nothing of particular note about the disc release itself, save for the breezy main feature. But that alone is enough to warrant a spin. What's more, Lay The Favourite is a film that’s set to work just a little better in a more welcoming home environment, than on the big screen. --Jon Foster

Product Description

Based on the memoir by Beth Raymer, this lighthearted gambling caper based on true events stars Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta Jones (Chicago), Vince Vaughn (The Break-Up), Joshua Jackson (Bobby) and is directed by Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Stephen Frears (The Queen). In the sports gambling Mecca of Las Vegas, an exuberant ex-private dancer Beth (Rebecca Hall) arrives in search of her ultimate dream to become a cocktail waitress. Fate leads her to Dink (Bruce Willis), a charming, old-school gambler who seeing beyond the ditzy façade, takes a shine to Beth, recruiting her as his good luck charm.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling 26 Feb 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
One of the worst films I've ever watched half of (the only reason we got that far was my new flatmate's politeness in thinking I must be enjoying it. I eventually asked her if she was enjoying it and she was utterly relieved to be able to be honest.)

Awful script; the film doesn't feel it is going anywhere; the pace is utterly pedestrian; boring; aimless; there doesn't seem to be any point in them having made the film. Quite how they got Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bruce Willis on board is beyond me.

The premise had seemed interesting but as I say, the script is terrible. This is a flop of the first order.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lay the Favourite 17 July 2013
By Flavia
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with this movie. They say "Laugh Out Loud funny I don't think so.
My husband and I both thought it was boring and I like Bruce Willis
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IT'S JUST A HOOK 28 April 2013
By The Movie Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER
Beth(Rebecca Hall) is a woman who aspires to be a cocktail waitress in Vegas. She has both brains and looks. She ends up working for Dirk, a bookie (Bruce Willis) who she develops feelings. Dirk has a jealous wife Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and a bad side when he loses, which causes Beth to get a job elsewhere. Beth eventually gets into trouble and needs help.

The film is based on a true story, so you didn't know where it is headed. The downfall of the film is that it has a narrow appeal. It is basically a modified chick flick. But it is for chicks who know something about book making. The phrase "lay the favorite" means betting against the favorite, i.e. you always take the points and the underdog, you never give points. Bookies make their money by having a balanced book. They need the same amount of money bet on a team as they do against it. They make their money from taking "the juice" which is a percentage of the winnings. If the juice is 10% and you bet $50 even money, you will net $40 in return. In order to balance their books, they will have to move money around and make bets with other books or alter the point spread. The point spread has more to do balancing the books then it does the ability of the teams involved which is why it sometimes changes from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. This allows a smart better to straddle his bet. The key to book making is to do the math and bet with your head, not your heart.

It is not an inside look at the gambling industry per se, but it gives you enough of a glimpse that you feel you need to know what is going on in order to enjoy the movie. The most unbelievable aspect of the film is that with all the money Dirk and his wife had, she drank Beefeaters Gin. I enjoyed Bruce Willis in this role. Rebecca Hall was refreshing. A light chick flick for people who know something about gambling.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, nudity (Jo Newman, Laura Prepon - Donna from "That 70's Show")
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bet on it 4 Jan 2013
Lay The Favourite (LTF) is the story of Beth Raymers real-life memoir of the same name. It follows our Beth (played by Rebecca Hall - The Town) as she works her way around the sinuous and shady world of bet-making bookies, starting with Dink (Bruce Willis - Looper) in Las Vegas moving down the scale to the even shadier New York bookie Rosie (Vince Vaughn - Wedding Crashers) and having to deal with her feelings for Dink and the scorn incurred from his wife Tulip (an unrecognisable Catherine Zeta-Jones - Rock of Ages) - when a client Beth represents welchs on his debt, he uses the threat of Federal involvement to scare her off, but Beth will not be shaken so easily, will she make a name for herself in this cut-throat industry?

Where to begin? Rebecca Hall is great in LTF; she is sexy yet eloquent enough to pull of the slightly more technical side of the job. She carries LTF despite her ditsy mannerisms; Bruce Willis is OK but nothing special in his role as an aging bookie whilst Vince Vaughn really phoned this one in - he wasn't funny or entertaining for the entire 94-minute bit.

Consequently, LTF really feels a bit contrived as far as stories go; they skim over the technical side of how the book-making works; content with onscreen stacks of money and shouting at television screens showing sporting events to fill in the substance.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A little bit tiring 10 Jun 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Watched it since available for online streaming thankfully but would not have sought it out otherwise - it is about game betting world. Most ppl would probably not like it although i don't think it was a dreadfully bad film (many famous face casts), just need patience i guess. Rebecca Hall plays a bimbo role and completely changes her voice to a squeaky one which sounds very strange with her usual low pitched voice.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Poor 6 May 2014
By Cat
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Shame, this is a good story but it is badly acted in parts, and has a very irritating lead actress.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual Willis 5 Oct 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Difficult to rate DVDs as we all have our own opinions. Quite clever film some good actors but not Bruce Willis normal style. Arrived in good contrition.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A little boring... 4 Jun 2013
By lipsy
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I watched this film with a few friends on a friday night thinking it would be a good film as I really like bruce willis films..I have to say I was a little dissappointed and found the film boring. So boring, in fact that half way through we abandoned it.
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