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The movie, which premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival as The Last Poker Game, marks one of Landau’s final roles in front of the camera. The film follows Landau’s Dr. Abe Mandelbaum as he moves into an assisted-living facility with his ailing wife. There, he strikes up a friendship with Sorvino’s womanizing gambler, Phil, as they each try to convince a nurse that he is her long-lost father.
In the exclusive clip above, Abe and Phil are sharing dirty jokes, with Phil’s offering not getting an enthusiastic response. Abe then remembers a risque story and starts telling it before he’s interrupted by a nurse.
Speaking of that scene in particular, writer-director Dr. Howard Weiner tells The Hollywood Reporter that the moment shows how Abe and Phil are old men who both act like little boys.
Weiner considers Landau’s work in the film to be one of the Oscar winner’s best performances and worthy of another Academy Award nomination.
As for the process of working on the film with Landau, Weiner says, “He’s a perfectionist and loved to do scenes over and over. What I was most impressed with was his eyes. He could capture an emotion without saying anything.”
Weiner said he was “devastated” when he learned of Landau’s death and felt that he lost a friend, explaining how he was getting ready to show Landau a script for his next movie.
Landau’s daughter, Susie, echoed her father’s good feelings for Weiner and the film.
“He was very much looking forward to the release,” Susie Landau said of her dad. “He felt really proud of this movie and that he did some of his best work with Paul.… As a first-time director at age 70, Howard really keyed into my dad a lot and trusted him to make important choices.”
As she continues to mourn her father, Susie finds it “inspiring” that he’ll continue to live on through his work.
Abe & Phil’s Last Poker Game, which also stars Maria Dizzia, hits theaters and VOD on Jan. 12.
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