Culture Connect Featured Event

Critic's Choice: HARD EIGHT
Ticket Price: $6-11

Critic’s Choice

Featuring selections from the metro area’s top film critics

Phillip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly and Gwyneth Paltrow star in


The directorial debut of acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson 
(The MasterThere Will Be BloodBoogie Nights)

“Movies like Hard Eight remind me of what original, compelling characters the movies can sometimes give us.” - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

Hosted by film critic Nick Schager (Time Out New YorkSlant)

Tuesday, November 20 – 7:30 p.m.

Carte Blanche Members – Free / Members - $6 / Students & Seniors - $8 / Nonmembers - $11

Hard Eight

ABOUT THE FILM: Before his commercial breakthrough with Boogie Nights (1997), writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson made this quietly powerful character driven drama. John (John C. Reilly), a half-bright loser stranded in Reno, is down to his last few bucks when Sydney (Phillip Baker Hall), taking pity on him, buys him breakfast and offers him a few tips on making money in the casinos. Two years later, John has become Sydney's partner, but his lack of common sense goes from problematic to dangerous when he falls in love with Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow), a cocktail waitress who isn't above turning a few tricks when she needs to make money -- and isn't any brighter than John. Hall and Reilly, both first-rate character actors, are cast in rare leading roles, and Paltrow is cast strongly against type as a part-time prostitute with a serious lack of street smarts.

Despite originally receiving only a perfunctory release when it opened theatrically in 1996, Hard Eighthas since gained a significant fan base and critical support, largely a result of the subsequent success of writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson. Don’t miss out on this rare theatrical presentation.


ABOUT THE CRITIC: Nick Schager is a film critic for Slant magazine and Time Out New York as well as a columnist and features writer for the Independent Film Channel. His work has also appeared in, among other publications, The Village VoiceindieWireCinematicalThe IndependentThe Screengrab,PLANET magazine and SOMA magazine. A former magazine editor and 2004 graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, he has been a featured speaker at Columbia University as well as a guest on A&E's Biography and G4TV's Attack of the Show. He resides in Stamford, CT with his two daughters.


Venue Information
The Avon Theatre
272 Bedford St
, CT
1 203-967-3660