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Critic’s Choice: HARD EIGHT

The Avon Theatre Film Centre, Inc will be having a presentation of a film on Tuesday, November 20th!

ABOUT THE FILM: Before his commercial breakthrough with Boogie Nights (1997), writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson made this quietly powerful character driven drama. John (John C. Reilly), a half-bright loser stranded in Reno, is down to his last few bucks when Sydney (Phillip Baker Hall), taking pity on him, buys him breakfast and offers him a few tips on making money in the casinos. Two years later, John has become Sydney’s partner, but his lack of common sense goes from problematic to dangerous when he falls in love with Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow), a cocktail waitress who isn’t above turning a few tricks when she needs to make money — and isn’t any brighter than John. Hall and Reilly, both first-rate character actors, are cast in rare leading roles, and Paltrow is cast strongly against type as a part-time prostitute with a serious lack of street smarts.

Despite originally receiving only a perfunctory release when it opened theatrically in 1996, Hard Eighthas since gained a significant fan base and critical support, largely a result of the subsequent success of writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson. Don’t miss out on this rare theatrical presentation.

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Ryan Odinak