Two For the Money Synopsis
“If you want something from me, you’re gonna have to rip it out of my talons.”
Welcome to the voracious, cutthroat world of high-roller gambling. Fortunes are won on Sunday and lost on Monday in Two For the Money -- a high-stakes drama set in the adrenalized world of wheeler-dealer gamblers -- where riches are made and destroyed with the flip of a coin. With millions of dollars on the line, reckless players engage in a “who’s conning whom” game where the bets are high and the losses even higher.
Two For the Money marks the return of AL PACINO to the role of power player. With a searing performance that punctuates a career spent stealing the screen in such epochal films as The Godfather and Scarface, Pacino commands the screen as Walter Abrams, a recovering addict-turned-betting advisor with a delicious lust for power. With the energy and charisma that have made him an icon, Pacino bares his acting teeth in this film.
In such hits as Any Given Sunday, The Devil’s Advocate and with his Oscar-winning performance in Scent of a Woman, audiences know Pacino brings out the best in his cast. Time and again, he has played a character who takes a young man and transforms him into a seasoned competitor who comes to equal (or surpass) his own power. Part Svengali, part Pygmalion, Pacino-as-Abrams tears through Two For the Money in yet another tour de force performance.
Working alongside Pacino, MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY plays sports gambling phenom Brandon Lang, a self-assured (but washed-up) former college football player who is on the cusp of exploiting his true talents: his ability to consistently pick football winners. This uncanny knack attracts the hungry Walter into Brandon’s smalltime world. Brandon holds his own as an ingénue sports advisor, fighting for his piece of the turf against the paternal, yet ruthless, Walter.
Rounding out the powerful cast of Two For the Money is RENE RUSSO, playing Walter’s gorgeous, yet life-hardened, wife Toni. Also a recovering addict, Toni wields the true power in her home -- balancing Walter’s precarious ambition and serving as a reminder that his inner demons are not far from the surface. An actor with luminescent presence on screen, Russo completes a dynamic triangle with these two leading men. Giving quiet muscle to their makeshift family, Toni will tolerate neither Walter’s attempts at self-destruction nor Brandon’s possible descent into gambling mayhem.
In a character drama where financial and human fortunes are on the line, Two For the Money rests the balance of power on a unique family. The audience is invited to enter the rush of high-roller gambling where those with fortunes to burn and money to risk play a deadly game.
Networks don’t talk about it.
Governments can’t tax it.
It’s a $200 billion a year business in an uncertain world.
Until... Brandon Lang.
How to Build a House of Cards
Brandon Lang has nurtured a sports dream that’s taken him from the pee-wee leagues all the way to college ball. It’s the kind of vision that makes toiling away for years in a dreary, windowless cubicle of a Vegas 900-number racket almost bearable as he waits for the one acceptance letter that will change his life. Problem is, Brandon is no longer a bankable commodity as a football player. Crushing leg injuries sidelined his dreams of ever playing in any pro league. With the rejection letters piling up, his tenacity gets a shot in the arm. He has just received a letter from an unlikely scout.
For Abrams, kingpin of the biggest sports advisory service in the country, Brandon is far more than a washed up quarterback with a seeming knack for picking winners in every weekend’s football matchups. He is the key to selling nearly 100 percent certainty in one uncertain world: sports gambling.
In fact, Walter is so convinced of Brandon’s untapped acumen that he is willing to bet his future on it. But first Walter must convince Brandon. Walter dangles a tantalizing opportunity for Brandon to declare his own paycheck, move to New York City and live a life he never imagined.
What’s to turn down?
Soon Brandon is enjoying his status as Walter’s golden boy, growing more and more comfortable in the high-rolling lifestyle of Walter’s world of privilege. Mentor / protégé quickly evolves into a surrogate father / son relationship as Brandon -- who lives downstairs in his boss’ brownstone -- becomes even cozier with Walter, his wife Toni and their daughter Julia (CHRISLYN AUSTIN).
As Walter grooms the small-town ex-athlete into a shrewd front man, Brandon’s prophetic skills fatten Walter’s business and personal accounts. Brandon is morphing into John Anthony…a pseudonymed superstar sports advisor with all the slick accoutrements that money can buy. He takes anything he wants -- women, cars, worship from grateful customers. John is a man of Walter’s creation, but Brandon finds himself unsuited for an identity no longer his own.
His ability to pick winners week after week finally reels in the ultimate big fish, Puerto Rico’s notorious Novian (ARMAND ASSANTE), a gambler of outrageous means who plays in a league of his own. The protégé package is now complete. Brandon has a fast car, fast girl Alex (JAIME KING) and is the envy of his office rival Jerry (JEREMY PIVEN) and his shark colleagues Reggie (RALPH GARMAN) and Southie (KEVIN CHAPMAN).
Until…the gambling gods forsake him.
Just as the Midas touch slips from Brandon’s fingers, Walter’s manipulation of his heir to the throne crosses the line. With millions hanging in the balance, Brandon and Walter engage in a treacherous con game. Each tries to outwit the other as everyone in their world is drawn into their escalating and deadly test of wills.