Gambler Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) is feeling the pressure of another losing streak when a chance meeting with charismatic poker player Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) seems to bring about a change of fortune. The pair set out on a cross-country journey, from Iowa to Louisiana, determined to win big, but Gerry’s capacity for self-destruction threatens to derail them at every turn.
That women exist primarily to support men on their journey through life is an outdated patriarchal impulse that unfortunately continues to inform the majority of modern filmmaking. It is pandered to particularly luridly in The Voices, where all female characters – whether full-bodied object of desire or severed head in a fridge – are there to support protagonist Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) in his quest for self-acceptance.
Home is where the hurt is…
Romance novelist Michael Taylor (Ryan Reynolds) is on his way back to his Midwestern hometown for a family celebration, a prospect that fills him with abject dread. He has no wish to share the news that his marriage to Kelly (Carrie Ann Moss) is crumbling, and is concerned about having another run-in with his father Charles (Willem Dafoe), with whom he has never enjoyed an easy relationship. On Michael’s arrival, however, everything changes; an accident has taken the life of his mother (Julia Roberts) and the whole family is in mourning. As Michael attempts to cop with his grief, he reconnects with his favourite Aunt Jane (Emily Watson), who, being only a little older than him, was his childhood confidante, and struggles to break through a decades-old emotional barrier that keeps him distant from his father.