• Publication date: February 24, 2010

Out of Luck and Out of Money A New Beginning or Another Failure?

�Luck� (2003) focuses on the life of Shane Bradley (Luke Kirby) a guy who suffers from a severe case of bad luck. While most individuals would recognize a series of bad events as a temporary set back, Shane has an obsessive belief in the idea of destiny. He postulates that his successively unlucky encounters, specifically with women, must indicate that he is naturally doomed. Yet at the same time he realizes that he is not a risk taker, and that there is no possibility of moving forward without taking some chances.

�Luck� (2003) focuses on the life of Shane Bradley (Luke Kirby) a guy who suffers from a severe case of bad luck. While most individuals would recognize a series of bad events as a temporary set back, Shane has an obsessive belief in the idea of destiny. He postulates that his successively unlucky encounters, specifically with women, must indicate that he is naturally doomed. Yet at the same time he realizes that he is not a risk taker, and that there is no possibility of moving forward without taking some chances.

A prime example of Shane failing to seize the moment is his first encounter with Margaret (Sarah Polley), a woman he finds attractive. Margaret has just left her boyfriend and though she does not verbalize it, she enjoys Shane�s company. When Margaret discuses the possibility of traveling to London to reunite with her ex, Shane does not protest and suggest that she should stay in Canada with him, but instead offers to feed her cat while she is gone. This is just one example of Shane passively accepting what he considers fate.

Shane�s pals and roommates Andrew (Jed Rees), Robbie (Noam Jenkins), and Vittorio (Sergio DiZio) are gambling fanatics who spend each day at the racetrack betting on horses. While Shane has accompanied them to the track on occasion, his bets never exceeded a few dollars. That changes, partially due to the country�s atmosphere at the time. The film�s backdrop is 1972 Canada, during the historic summit meeting between Canada�s �professional� ice hockey team and Russia�s �amateur� Olympic team. Full of bravado, the Canadians assume their superiority; after all, Canada is where the game was invented. What they don�t realize is that Russia�s players are only labeled amateur so that they can meet Olympic entry guidelines, and that they play and train as hard, if not harder than the Canadians. Subsequently, the Canadians face a crushing defeat.

With that in mind, Shane is ready to take risks. At the track with his roommates he makes his first serious bet; it pays off and he buys himself a large screen television. Not content with his first big win, he continues to visit the track � and continues to lose money. Eventually Shane goes into serious debt, and must endure the abuse of some unwelcome visitors. However banking on their country�s blind faith in their teams, Andrew and Shane setup their own gambling venture. Not content with consistently being a loser, Shane becomes proactive in overcoming adversity. Unfortunately, each time Shane attempts to improve his situation, he only makes it worse.

Viewers cannot help but relate to the gambling addict�s plight and consistently hope for Shane�s lucky break. Similarly, writer and director Peter Wellington has a knack for making the audience feel Shane�s downfalls. �Luck� uniquely portrays Canadian life without shoving it down viewers� throats or exaggerating various differences between their friends below the border. Can Shane grab control of his life and perhaps break his losing streak?

The Ontario Film Review Board certifies �Luck� 14A, meaning one should expect harsh language and some sexual references. Its runtime is 90 minutes.