Choice: Film

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The Gambler, mac, Birmingham (0121-440 3838) 8.30pm

Karoly Makk's film about Dostoevsky is written by Nick Dear, who did such a stunning job on Jane Austen's Persuasion. The title refers to Dostoevsky's novel, scenes from which are intercut with the rest of the film. The inventive casting runs to 86-year-old Luise Rainer, who won consecutive Best Actress Oscars sixty years ago for her performances as the long-suffering wife in The Great Ziegfeld and as a Chinese peasant in The Good Earth (that year she beat Garbo in Camille, which gives you some idea of just how good she was). The leads are played by Jodhi May, who made an indelible impression in her screen debut A World Apart, and Michael Gambon, who has previously been given little scope to shine on screen, unless you count his fiery performance in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. His immense subtlety and strength shine like a beacon.

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