Watch The Grand
- 1 hr 44 min
The Grand is a 2007 comedy film directed by Zak Penn and starring Woody Harrelson, David Cross, and Dennis Farina. The premise of the film follows a group of amateur poker players who gather in Las Vegas to compete in a high-stakes poker tournament with a $10 million prize. The film is shot in a pseudo-documentary style, with the cast speaking directly to the camera at times. The film centers on the character of Jack Faro (played by Harrelson), the owner of a struggling casino who enters the tournament in a desperate attempt to save his business. Faro is a former drug addict who has been clean for several years, but he is still plagued by personal demons that threaten to unravel his life. The other players in the tournament include a variety of oddball characters, including a couple of con artists (Farina and Cross), a wealthy businessman (Richard Kind), and a young online poker prodigy (Cheryl Hines). One of the strengths of The Grand is its comedic performances. The ensemble cast is led by Harrelson, who gives an excellent performance as the down-on-his-luck casino owner. Harrelson's character is equal parts tragic and comedic, with a sense of desperation that adds an emotional weight to the film. The other standout performances come from Farina and Cross, who play a pair of grifters with a long history of cheating at poker. Farina brings his usual grit and charisma to the role, while Cross delivers a more low-key performance that balances out the film's more bombastic moments. The storyline of The Grand is relatively straightforward, with Faro and his competitors playing a series of hands of Texas Hold 'Em in increasingly high-stakes games. However, the film is never boring thanks to its inventiveness with parodying the nature of tournament poker. The film's over-the-top nature and improv comedy wash over you, providing a temporary escape from reality, as you can go behind-the-scenes of some of poker's biggest personalities. The Grand also features a number of cameos from well-known poker professionals, including Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, and Phil Laak. These cameos lend a sense of authenticity to the film and add to the sense of excitement and anticipation that builds throughout the tournament. In terms of tone, The Grand is an interesting mix of comedy and drama. While the film is certainly funny, it also has moments of real emotional weight, particularly in scenes involving Faro and his ex-wife (played by Shannon Elizabeth). These moments of genuine emotion help ground the film and prevent it from becoming too cartoonish. Overall, The Grand is a highly enjoyable comedy that will appeal to fans of poker, mockumentary-style films, and improvisational comedy. The film's cast delivers strong performances from beginning to end, and the creative ways that major poker figures are incorporated into a mostly fictional cast makes it an entertaining experience, even for those unfamiliar with poker. The Grand is a comedy-drama about winning and all that it may cost you or gain you.