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Lay The Favourite 2012

Amazon Video

(23) IMDb 4.8/10

Beth Raymer leaves her dancing job at a Florida strip club to become a Las Vegas cocktail waitress. Not exactly an ideal career choice, but her borderline-ditzy personality doesn't give her many options. In walks Dink, a professional sports bettor who sees through her bubbly exterior and offers her a job placing wagers all over town to gain an advantage over the casinos. Her surprisingly impecc...

Rebecca Hall, Joel Murray
1 hour, 29 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Stephen Frears
Starring Rebecca Hall, Joel Murray
Supporting actors Hugo Armstrong, Corbin Bernsen, Earl Maddox, Rio Hackford, Jo Newman, Laura Prepon, Bruce Willis, Frank Grillo, Wayne Pére, Adam Kozlowski, Al Brown, Thom Sesma, Rusty Meyers, Wendell Pierce, John J. Mourain, Ritchie Montgomery, René J.F. Piazza, Vince Vaughn
Studio Entertainment One
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy on 28 April 2013
Format: Blu-ray
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 By J. Morris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jan. 2013
Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
It is a watchable movie, actually quite fast paced BUT at the detriment of plot and character substance, meaning some scenes seem to be cut short (I think this is called bad editing). That is noticeable from the very beginning. The mind baffles when you think it is the same director as Philomela and many other acclaimed movies ('the Queen', 'Dangerous liaisons' and 'Prick up your ears' to name but a few). What happened there? How could he let that movie be released as it is?
My attempt at an explanation is that Stephen Frears wanted to have a dig at America's superficiality - his main character Beth is portrayed as a bimbo (a bimbo good with numbers mind you!), Tulip, the scorned wife (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, who surely was never THAT thin!), whose fury is appeased by a face lift. 'Death becomes her', also with Bruce Willis, springs to mind and was a far more superior movie, it had satyre, irony AND laughs (none of that here).
But I fail to see what the Director's interest might have been when it becomes clear the ending is heading straight for a typical Hollywood happy ending and by doing so it ceases to have any connection with what we've learned from the characters so far and their behaviours! A total change of direction that makes no sense. Same happens with the build up to Tulip's appearance - everyone seems to be horribly scared of her and when she makes her entry it's like watching a souffle come down.
How could such an intelligent director give us this remains an utter mystery... it's like by wanting to portray stupidity, he became stupid too...
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