Casino

Casino ★★★★

Fourth of fifth watch and it's Ginger that is attracting my attention:
The voiceover is continually reminding us of how charming she is and how everyone associated with the casino love her, yet Scorsese never depicts any of these kindnesses. Beyond the tipping of everyone for everything and knowing everyone's name, this feel like a case of show don't tell.

Ace tells us how special she was and so does Nicky but all we see her do is drink and snort and schmooze. Sharon Stone is wonderful as the addict, liar and broken woman but simply never convinces as this supposedly likable character. When she is with Lester her she seems to be with the right guy. As he bullies and cajoles her, re-igniting the pimpology he laid all these years ago, her performance is excellent yet when we are introduced to her creating a scene with a John based on what has come before she should have been thrown out on her ear but Ace is entranced.

It is this entrancement, bewitching of this sober, serious criminal man, that simply doesn't work on rewatch. What Scorsese actually needed was to cast two actresses. Has that ever been done? For instance, Sandra Bullock in the early scenes and then Charlize Theron in the later ones? If the guys didn't keep going on about how charming she was it wouldn't be as much of a big deal but by the time she is screaming in the street and kidnapping her daughter everyone looks bad.