Four Best Gambling Movies Made in Canada
Canadian films have been around for more than a century and have changed the world of international cinema. However, many Canadian films are not as well known in the US or other countries. Some of them include gambling movies made in Canada that are must-sees for all gambling enthusiasts, from card-table lovers to casino fans. Here are the top four Canadian gambling movies sure to get your adrenaline pumping. If you haven’t seen these, add them to your must watch list now!
Lucky Girl (My Daughter’s Secret Life)
Gambling films don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Case in point: Lucky Girl, also known as My Daughter’s Secret Life. It is a 2001 Canadian film about Kaitlyn, a teen who finds herself caught up in the addictive nature of gambling.
Kaitlyn is an intelligent young woman whose ambitions toward perfection and disdain for failure motivate her to win at every cost, even if it means sneaking out of class to place bets at the nearest casino. She wins big thanks to an enchanted lottery ticket, and it doesn’t take long for her winning streak to turn into a full-blown addiction. Her obsession with gambling gradually alienates her from her friends and family until all she has left are her winnings and her illusions of grandeur.
Lucky Girl is one of the best gambling films made in Canada. The film won Best Feature Film at the 2001 Festival des Films du Monde (Montreal World Film Festival) and Best Narrative Feature at the Independent Feature Project/West Film Festival that same year. It was also honoured at the Austin Film Festival as well as numerous others throughout its time on the festival circuit.
In the film directed by Zack Bernbaum, Bobby is a poker player, an addicted gambler, who can’t get enough of the game. He spends his days playing at Chips’ gaming establishment and his nights living with his mother Audrey and girlfriend Kim. Audrey detests gambling because it caused her husband’s downfall, but Bobby doesn’t seem to care.
What unfolds is a complex tale of deception, revenge, and the lengths people will go to for money when they need it the most. This film is so gripping that you won’t be able to look away from the screen!
Owning Mahowny, released in 2003, is one of the best gambling movies ever made. It tells the story of a Canadian bank manager (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who gambles away a considerable amount of his clients’ money at an Atlantic City casino.
In this film, you’ll see all the glamour and glitz stripped away from gambling and replaced with a gripping study of addiction and how it can take hold of someone’s life. This movie is full of subtle moments, as Hoffman shows us how Mahowny holds things together while trying not to fall apart.
The Last Casino
Canada has produced several great movies over the years, but one that often flies under the radar is the 2004 dramatic comedy The Last Casino. This film touches on the history of gambling, particularly blackjack, and makes for both an amusing and informative story.
The MIT Blackjack Team is a popular topic covered by The Last Casino. Bill Kaplan was the founder of this team, whose members were students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Kaplan delayed his admission to Harvard University to develop a mathematical model that would help him win at blackjack.
Unfortunately for Kaplan, he soon found out that other casinos had changed their rules to make it more difficult for card counters to win. As such, he had no choice but to recruit others who could help him devise new techniques that would be harder to counteract. The team’s success led to several books being written on the subject. It even inspired a vital character in the movie 21, which depicted another group of card counters who based their techniques on those used by Kaplan’s team.
People have enjoyed the thrill of gambling for thousands of years. It’s no wonder, then, that there are so many gambling-related movies. Gambling on the big screen is usually depicted as glamorous, exciting, and dangerous. Gamblers are often portrayed as cool characters with a lot of personality and money to spare (think James Bond).
In reality, gambling can be extremely damaging to a person’s life and finances if not handled responsibly. Most people enjoy watching gambling movies because they feel safe and in control while watching these films. This feeling is compounded by the fact that viewers know that, unlike the characters in these movies, they will not lose all their money if they gamble at one of those casinos in real life.
Canada is one of the most culturally diverse countries for making movies. In fact, it’s impossible to narrow down the number of gambling movies in this country because there have been multitudes. However, there are still some standout films that have proven to be the best gambling ones. This article included the ones that made the cut. There are others out there that are certainly worth watching.