Matt Damon plays a disturbed young man, Matt Foley, in the highly acclaimed movie, “Poker Face”. He is a divorced father who cannot help being absorbed by his work when he finally becomes an alcoholic. The film is based on the true story of Matt Foley, a former poker player, and his equally troubled relationship with his wife, played by Helena Bonham Carter.
For those who are not familiar with Matt Damon’s work, I’ll summarize the basics: Matt is a renowned actor who has starred in a lot of famous movies, such as “Good Will Hunting”, “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, “Monster”, “Slumdog Millionaire”, “Good Will Hunting”, “Platoon”, “Damaged”, “Ridicule”The Informant!” Even though some of his previous movies are quite well-known, I am referring to those that are based on his personal life. I will not get into his career yet, as I don’t want to spoil the enjoyment of people who just came across this review.
Matt and Helena Bonham Carter play a couple in “Poker Face”. Matt is an alcoholic who gives up his career and finally becomes a single parent. His wife Helena is an actress and makes a living by directing independent films.
Matt’s character, Matt Foley, was in fact a resident of the Division of Family Services in Canada, which at the time was known as FILA. Matt met his wife Helena while working as a poker player. He introduced her to the game, and they soon got married.
FILA, a no-kill shelter, is where Matt’s character stayed until he was able to get a better job and afford a better place to live. But FILA turned out to be a mess: every night the animals of the shelter were neglected, and the residents were abused by the staff.
Matt is also named Matt Foley, and in real life Matt plays poker for money in Hollywood. Matt’s career path was not very clear to me: he worked as a businessman and then became a loan officer. However, he eventually became a celebrity poker player in the early 80s.
Matt lost his wife, and thus had to settle down with Helena, who was able to provide him with a good job and some financial security. But the marriage was not stable: Matt used to come home after a poker game and yell at his wife. Matt has this strange hatred for women.
While “Poker Face” is a perfectly balanced film, it is extremely depressing. In fact, there are several scenes that will really make you weep when Matt falls into a drunken stupor. There is a famous scene where Matt has just won his wife over at the card table and is bragging about his new fortune, then he follows it up with: “I’m the greatest poker player ever!” This really brought tears to my eyes.
There are a few scenes that will bring tears to your eyes, and yet at the same time, you know that these are the only bad ones. One example is when Matt and Helena’s daughter make a comment about how men are “jerks” and that their friend hates men, and Matt replies: “It’s time to stop dreaming and actually wake up. And the funny thing is that she’s a woman! It’s never funny when a woman says that to a man. It’s a form of abuse.”
The film, however, does a good job to reinforce the relationship between Matt and Helena and Tom Hanks, the Oscar-winning actor portrays the role very well. Matt appears to be quite a character, and it is only when he starts losing in poker that he gets disturbed and breaks into a sobbing fit. Matt acts like a drunk but doesn’t, and yet it is easy to see that the man is really suffering.
In “Poker Face”, we see many important scenes, such as the scene where Matt visits the agency of FILA. We also see Matt looking for a drink and a game of cards with friends in the bar of an actress friend, where they fight for dominance over the girl. The movie is rather dark in tone, which some may consider the wrong way to end such a great film.