Oscar Isaac’s rich acting history is put to the test in The Card Counter

Isaac has received critical acclaim for his role in the movie.

American actor Oscar Isaac has risen to fame in the last few years and has received much praise for his work as a Latino representative in todays cinematography. His iconic roles in the Star Wars and Dune franchises and most lately as the complicated hero Moon Knight havefurther increased his popularity. However, in last year’s production of The Card Counter, Isaac’s skills were truly put to the test. 

A story of casino gambling and revenge

Oscar Isaac plays the leading role of William ‘Tell’ Tillich, a veteran turned low-stakes gambler. The casino setting of the film is a well-known cinematic trick to highlight the inner high-stakes battle of the characters, and this film does it just as well as other classics like Casino Royale or 21. 

The poker cards on the screen also help inspire home gamblers, who can easily access a game of poker or some lesser effort slots. Read more here to learn how online casinos work and how to find the best sites.

In the film, the gaunt and mysterious man plays by counting cards, a trick he learned during his eight-year stay in prison for his role in the torture-inflicting at the Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraq war. 

One day, William accidentally runs into the son of a previous Abu Ghraib colleague, Cirk Beaufort. Cirk seeks revenge on his father’s commander, Major John Gordo, for his father’s suicide. Tillich tries to stop him while simultaneously trying hard to maintain his self-imposed purgatory which he feels he deserves even after his prison punishment, even as he navigates romance, revenge, and redemption. 

Isaac’s affinity for difficulty

Isaac has received critical acclaim for his role in the movie. According to an article in The Independent, “[Isaac’s] eyes alone speak with greater fluency on the soullessness of American than the rest of The Card Counter”. 

The actor spent a lot of time preparing for the role, and has mentioned in interviews that prior to filming director Schrader had given him an invaluable book on Trauma called “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma”.  

Trauma plays the main attribute of William ‘Tell’ Tillich’s character as he grasps what he did to the prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison. It is often hard to portray trauma well, perhaps even more so when you only have 20 days to record the film. Earlier roles, such as Abel Morales in the 2014 crime drama A Most Violent Year, play into Isaac’s working with hopelessness and guilt. 

However, it is the quiet suffering in The Card Counter and the chaos of the Marvel Universe hit Moon Knight that sets Isaac apart as an actor, as his characters effectively utilize different methods of coping. His affinity for preparing difficult psychological roles, such as the traumatized William Tillich or the Moon Knight with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), is a rightful reason for his many existing and awaiting awards and nominations.