Lay the Favorite

Lay the Favorite
Directed by Stephen Frears
Produced by Randall Emmett
George Furla
Paul Trijbits
Screenplay by D.V. DeVincentis
Based on The memoir of the same name
by Beth Raymer
Starring Bruce Willis
Rebecca Hall
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Joshua Jackson
Cinematography Michael McDonough
Edited by Mick Audsley
Distributed by Cheetah Vision
Random House Films
The Weinstein Company
Release dates
  • January 21, 2012 (2012-01-21) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • December 7, 2012 (2012-12-07) (United States)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Box office $1,576,687

Lay the Favorite (promoted as Lay the Favourite in the UK) is a 2012 American comedy film starring Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Joshua Jackson. Based on Beth Raymer's memoir of the same title, the film follows a young, free-spirited woman as she journeys through the legal and illegal world of sports gambling. The film was directed by Stephen Frears.


Beth is becoming bored with her life in Florida, doing stripteases and lap dances for private customers. Her dad, Jerry, tells her to follow her dream of moving to Las Vegas, where she seeks honest work as a cocktail waitress.

A young woman named Holly, who lives at the same Vegas motel, arranges for Beth to meet Dink Heimowitz, a professional gambler who follows the fast-changing odds on sporting events and employs assistants at Dink, Inc., to lay big-money bets for him. Beth is intrigued and it turns out she has a good mind for numbers, easily grasping Dink's system and becoming his protege. A young journalist, Jeremy, becomes attracted to Beth, but she's hooked on the excitement and income that gambling provides and is not ready to settle for any kind of normal life.

When she begins expressing a more personal interest in her much-older mentor, Dink's sharp-tongued wife, Tulip, lets it be known in no uncertain terms that she wants Beth out of her husband's life. Against his advice, Beth accepts a similar job for a rival gambler, a man called Rosie who runs an illegal operation based in Curaçao. She succeeds there at first, but both Rosie and the job turn out to be extremely dangerous, and several lives depend on the outcome of one last game of basketball.



Filming began in April 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shooting also took place in New Orleans, and New York City. It was released January 21, 2012.


The film received negative reviews from critics. It holds a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 47 reviews.

External links

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