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
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.