Stage

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About - SR Sam Buck­ing­ham-Jones

(M) Ben Men­del­sohn’s des­per­ate gam­bler, Gerry, is hard to love in Mis­sis­sippi Grind. He’s a bad ex-hus­band and worse fa­ther, a liar and cheat, a weak man. It’s a meaty role and the late­bloom­ing Aus­tralian star de­liv­ers an­other pow­er­house per­for­mance, one that swells with unar­tic­u­lated emo­tion. This is a road trip movie, though more vis­ceral than cere­bral. Hav­ing said that, it is full of psy­cho­log­i­cal in­trigue; its char­ac­ters keep­ing us guess­ing as to their real mo­ti­va­tions. The real enigma is Cur­tis (a se­ri­ously good Ryan Reynolds), a hand­some fel­low gam­bler who be­friends Gerry over a low-rent card ta­ble in Dubuque, Iowa. The two agree to travel down the Mis­sis­sippi, gam­bling along the way, to reach a sto­ried card game in New Or­leans, where Gerry will win back all he owes.

The Il­lu­sion­ists 1903 In­spired by the ma­gi­cians and con­jur­ers of the early 20th cen­tury, The Il­lu­sion­ists 1903 in­cludes stunts, tricks and ex­per­i­ments from a dif­fer­ent era. The show in­cludes seven per­form­ers, each with a dif­fer­ent spe­cial­ity, in­clud­ing escapology, clair­voy­ance and lev­i­ta­tion. Sydney Opera House, Ben­ne­long Point. Opens tonight, 3pm. Tick­ets: $45-$120. Book­ings: (02) 9250 7777 or on­line. Un­til De­cem­ber 28.

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