Qui Perd Gagne! (2004)
Losers Are Winners!


Comedy (French)
Thierry Lhermitte
Elysa Zylberstein

duration:  1:46;10
file size:  4.3MB
image size:  320x240
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Thierry Lhermitte plays the role of Jacques, a professional gambler who "suffers" from a rare disorder called hypernesia, which is basically the opposite of amnesia. In other words, Jacque's problem is to forget. He remembers everything and is able to recall every tiniest bit of information at any time in the future. Blessed with this "disorder", Jacques was able to cash in on blackjack games. He was not counting cards. Instead he was able to actually remember the order of all the cards in a shoe. His strategy was to first observer the game, as other players are playing, and remember the order of cards, as the dealer picked them up. Then he was able to track the shuffles, and remember the new order of the cards. Later when he sit down to play he basically new the order of all the cards in the shoe.

All this is actually explained later in the film. The film starts with Jacques cashing in on a game of blackjack. When he leaves the casino he gets beat up in the parking lot. The "bad guys" are actually agents from the French Gaming Control Board and the beating was a way to let him know that he is no longer welcome. In short, he is banned from all the casinos, with one exception: the only game he is still allowed to play is roulette. He cannot overcome his appetite for gambling, so he hits the roulette tables and keeps losing.

Since the marketing consultants for the movie industry all study from the same textbooks, they also had to integrate a romance into the story. Luckily for Mr. Lhermitte, in real life, the writers had come up with some bedroom scenes which permitted him to get closely acquainted with his co-star Elysa Zylberstein, who plays the role of Angéle. Ironically, Angéle happens to be the commander of the Gaming Control Board, and their love affair must be kept secret.

Jacques and Angéle are confronted with an enigma, when an obscure professor, Vaudier, shows up on national TV with the news that he had discovered the mathematical formula that would allow him to accurately predict upcoming lottery numbers. To prove his point, he won two times in a row. While some are trying to unravel the secret by trying to decipher the chaos theory, Angéle is a die hard skeptic. There must be a scam! But how?

Coincidentally, Mr. Vaudier's agent happens to be the guy who was in charge of Jacques beating in the parking lot several years ago. What is even stranger (a flaw in the script, no doubt) is that jack and this agent have maintained a friendship. This is never well explained in the movie.

At the end the lottery system does turn out to be a scam. It is basically a revenge plot that Jacques cooked up against the man who was in charge of his beating several years ago. One day, the ex cop fills out a lottery ticket and hits the winning combination, by pure chance. He shows the ticket to Jacques and tells him that it is worth a few million Euros. Jacques tells him that if he is smart he can raise the value of this ticket from a few million, up to 200 million or more.

Since the ex-cop knows that Jacques is a genius, he takes the bait and listens to Jacques' idea. Jacques explains that he should find the person who hit the winning combination on the previous drawing, and team up with him to make it seem as if he hit the lottery twice in a row. So he finds the man and convinces him to play the role of a mad scientist who came up with the perfect lottery system. The only problem: they can not convince the die hard skeptics that the system is real, by playing another round, because they don't really have a system.

However, something amazing happens. One day the ex-cop receives an anonymous letter from the person who won the next round. This person happens to be a minor who can not cash the ticket through the proper channels. In reality this is another bait masterminded by Jacques. The kid is an accomplice, and the new lottery ticket is a fake. But the ex-cop takes the bait and buys the kid's lottery ticket for 7 million Euros in cash.

Now the ex-cop is convinced that he has all he needs to prove that his "professor" really has a winning system, and that he will be able to cash in on this. They schedule a press conference to show their winning ticket. At the press conference the ticket turns out to be a fake and the two of them get arrested.

Jacques has his revenge by putting the ex-cop in jail and coning him out of his millions.