Good Thief, The

Director: Neil Jordan

Though The Good Thief is a remake of Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob le flambeur/Bob the Gambler (1955), it is nonetheless a distinctly Neil Jordan film which transcends and develops on the original. Set in the South of France (Nice and Monte Carlo), it follows the adventures of ageing gambler Bob (Nick Nolte), who is down on his luck and plans to rob a casino. However, the heist is not a straightforward one and the complications allow Jordan to play with a number of familiar themes. He concentrates on notions of imitation, appearance and the inter-relationship of rationality (science/technology) and irrationality (art/imagination). Of course, the more intimate love story is also central to the film, which can be viewed as a poem about addiction and the beauty and riddle of the double. Here Jordan explores the best of European cinema as well as drawing on American models, and thereby offers an alternative to today’s mainstream Hollywood product. Newcomer Nutsa Kukhianidze is a delight in the leading female role, as is the cast in general, which offers a multi-ethnic array of European actors and entertainers.
Canada, 2002. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby digital stereo. 108 mins

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