Friday, April 27, 2012


The lives of the trainers, owners, jockeys, and gambles at the Santa Anita Racetrack in California are examined, while a notorious mob figure, just sprung from prison, plots his takeover of the facilities as part of a revenge plot against the cold blooded thugs responsible for his internment. The short-lived HBO series "Luck" is a slow-burn marriage of two unique and brilliant minds, that of creators Michael Mann ("Heat", "Collateral") and David Milch ("Deadwood", "NYPD Blue"). The series features phenomenal race sequences and measured pacing that leads up to an incredible season (hopefully not series) finale. The cast led by Dustin Hoffman and featuring old pros and affable newbies is excellent, with the often overlooked Dennis Farina rising to the top as a particular standout as Hoffman's chauffeur and personal bodyguard. Nick Nolte is also quite powerful also, playing the grizzled owner of a standout horse. More serious elements of the show are also given a nice counterbalance in the form of comic relief in the story four bumbling gamblers (Kevinn Dunn, Ian Hart, Ritchie Coster, Jason Gedrick), who have just one a major sweepstakes and hope to assert themselves as players in the horse racing game. I wanted to address the issues surrounding the shutdown of production of this series, hopefully without seeming crass, with a simple question: Which is more important, Art, or the lives of three elderly horses?