Irish Film Institute -Luck


Director: Peter Wellington

2003. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 97 minutes.

‘If you like sex better than gambling, you’re not gambling right’, someone says during the course of this excellent, 1970s set comedy, and director Peter Wellington’s film is infused with that brand of breezy obsessiveness. The central character, 28-year-old Shane Bradley (Luke Kirby), aspires to be a great writer but feels overwhelmed by the twin vagaries of fortune and females. When Margaret (Sarah Polley), the free-spirited woman of his dreams, takes off for England with an ex-boyfriend, Shane cannot cope with heartbreak and the disappearance of his luck. He becomes obsessed with gambling, drawing friends into a spiralling world of debt, ruthless loan sharks and bookmaking.
Set against the backdrop and intense excitement engendered by the famous 1972 hockey showdown between Canada and the Soviet Union, Luck is about more than just gambling. It’s a buddy movie-cum-relationship saga that has a lot to say about the enormity of the risks we take in everyday life. Writer-director Wellington is armed with a smart script that brings just the right sting to both the male camaraderie and the more poignant Shane/Margaret relationship. He also elicits engaging performances from his actors, gets the period detail just right, and is rewarded with a terrific score from former Smashing Pumpkins stars Melissa auf der Maur and James Iha.

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