The ending of
March 20, 2005 2:46 PM   Subscribe

At the end of the movie "The Good Thief"... [SPOILERS INSIDE]
posted by nicwolff to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Response by poster: ...Bob, the charismatic junkie thief played by Nick Nolte, sets up an art heist at a casino that is just misdirection to keep the cops away from the "real" art heist at the villa where the original paintings are kept, which then turns out to be in fact just cover for the theft of the casino's cash from its safe. That much I get.

But Bob also wins what looks to me like about 40 million francs while setting up his alibi by playing roulette and poker in the casino. Is that just astonishing good luck? Is it a fourth level to the scam? Am I supposed to recognize the poker dealer?

It's a fantastic movie either way but it's making me a little nuts not knowing whether it's an extra twist to Bob's plan or a bit of almost-magic realism.
posted by nicwolff at 2:46 PM on March 20, 2005

It's a remake of Bob le Flambeur isn't it? In that movie Bob keeps gambling while he is supposed to be meeting up with others, who die because he wasn't there. It's more a statement on his character and gambling than something realistic.
posted by donth at 3:51 PM on March 20, 2005

in bob le flambeur the scene for me was the irony of circumstances forcing him to do another job (he was retired, but is running out of money), and then it turning out to have been essentially unecessary since apparently he could have won all he needed at the tables.
posted by juv3nal at 4:05 PM on March 20, 2005

Best answer: I remember being similarly puzzled on seeing the movie (though dazzled by its visuals and soundtrack).

I ended up deciding that the whole evening was Bob's final gamble: get dressed up to the nines, beautiful girl on his arm, play cards with class and panache, and go out in a blaze of glory one way or the other. I think the movie is more character study than heist flick, and its climax depicts the central irony of Bob's character, and perhaps of any gambler: to escape his current life and troubles, he decides he must give in to his greatest temptation one final time.

The glory of the ultimate moment is complete, but I think we are meant to wonder as to whether he, like any gambler, has really succeeded in a lasting sense: Paulo was his only link to the "real" robbers, so will he ever see any of that loot? Will the casino ever pay off with the cloud of suspicion hanging over his head? Could Bob, who has lied so elegantly about everything, really have convinced himself that he would change?
posted by Urban Hermit at 5:17 PM on March 20, 2005

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