Feature – Money’s Too Tight To Mention

Jo Nesbo’s Jackpot tells the story of a bunch of criminals who go four ways on a winning lottery ticket, leaving them to share 1,739,361 kroner that they struggle to divide into four equal pay-outs. When we say ‘struggle’, it’s not just that they can’t do the maths, but rather that Jackpot unravels into a crime caper that divides more body parts than it does winnings.
What happens is  Oscar Svendsen wakes up, terrified and bloodied; a shotgun in his hands, in what was once a respectable strip joint near Svinesund, Sweden. He is surrounded by eight bodies, and police detective Solør has a gun aimed at his chest. Solør is convinced of his guilt, but Oscar persistently denies any wrongdoing.

Reluctantly Oscar starts relating the incredible story of four men who won top prize in a soccer pool and suddenly found themselves 1,739,361 kroner richer. But it turned out to be difficult to divide the money by four.

Jackpot is an exciting, playful and bloody comedy from the producer of Cold Prey. It is based on a story by Norway’s leading crime writer, Jo Nesbø. We meet a group of scruffy young men, all of them with a criminal background. Oscar (Kyrre Hellum), Thor (Mads Ousdal), Billy (Arthur Berning) and Tresko (Andreas Cappelen). They work at a factory in the middle of nowhere that makes plastic Christmas trees. And they bet on soccer…

To celebrate the film’s release in cinemas across the UK on friday. August 10th, we’re looking back at five other movies where the principal protagonists come into a princely sum of money overnight…

It Could Happen To You
There’s a theory on the internet that Nicholas Cage has never starred in a bad movie, and It Could Happen To You is no exception to that rule. Also featuring Rosie Perez and Bridget Fonda on top form, the movie tells the story of a cop who gives his lottery ticket to a waitress as her tip, promising half if it turns out to be a winning ticket (which, of course, it does). In a stranger than fiction twist, the plot is actually based on real-life events, making for a heart-warming tale of money’s trappings, its pitfalls, and how it really can’t buy you love.

Lucky Numbers
Lucky Numbers is another true story inspired lottery flick, but this one’s certainly not of the heart-warming variety. John Travolta plays the role of a weatherman with money troubles who attempts to rig the lottery with his wife (played by Lisa Kudrow), who’s the beautiful assistant on the state lottery draw. Both possess somewhat psychopathic personality traits – a complete lack of empathy or guilt alongside their superficial charm – and this kind of character-play is where much of the film’s comedy emerges from. Lucky Numbers is also noteworthy for featuring Michael Moore in one of his rare acting appearances on film.

Waking Ned
When Ned Devine dies of shock after winning the lottery, his fellow inhabitants of a tiny Irish village do their best to fool a lottery representative that Ned is still alive and well, and therefore the lottery money can be paid in full. The Tullymore villagers manage to convince themselves that this plan of action is for the greater good – as Tullymore is in dire need of a bob or two anyway – and what ensues from here on out is a warm and life-affirming comedy. Writer and Director, Kirk Jones received a BAFTA nomination for his work on the film, and widespread favourable reviews to boot.

Shallow Grave
Before the London Olympic Games opening ceremony, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later, and Trainspotting came the first theatrical movie that Danny Boyle directed back in 1994, Shallow Grave. Also starring Ewan McGregor, who would accompany Boyle on his first three directorial ventures, the movie spins a yarn about a group of housemates who take on a new tenant that promptly dies of a drug overdose. When a huge stash of money is discovered in the departed’s suitcase, and the housemates decide whether to inform the authorities or conceal the death (and keep the money), the film’s ominous title comes into play.

Mr Deeds
He’s been an unlikely golfing talent, a water boy turned linebacker, the son of Beelzebub, an Israeli counter-terrorist agent turned hairdresser, and a reluctant father figure. In most of his movies, however, Adam Sandler seems to maintain a lot of himself in a character, and that’s never been truer than of Mr Deeds. When Longfellow Deeds (Sandler) comes into a fortune, he buys Corvettes for the inhabitants of his small-town American home; when Sandler finished production of Grown-Ups in 2010, he bought $250,000 Maserattis for the rest of the cast. And that’s really the point of Mr Deeds: regardless of the fortune you find yourself to be the unlikely heir of overnight, the money by itself doesn’t mean a thing.

Jackpot is in cinemas, Friday August 10th.


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About paul devine

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The founder of The People's Movies, started the site 20th November 2008.The site has excelled past all expectations with many only giving the site months and it's still going strong. A lover of French Thrillers, Post Apocalyptic films, Asian cinema. 2009 started Cinehouse to start his 'cinema education' learning their is life outside mainstream cinema. Outside of film, love to travel with Sorrento, Guangzhou and Manchester all favourite destinations.Musically loves David Bowie, Fishbone, Radiohead.