The fourth character in Max Perrier’s “The Ante” is Canada’s rich textured landscape and infinite flat farmland. Shot in 35 mm scope by cinematographer Maarten Kroonenburg, Perrier’s film noir pulls out every dirty trick the three protagonists succumb to through bad luck and greed; playing with country folk stereotypes that woe betide anyone dumb enough to get lost and ask for directions.
Sam Bailey (Paul Burke) takes a wrong turn on a remote country road. Asking for directions from a farmwife (Paula Davis) he falls unwittingly into a double-cross of murder and double indemnity. When Bailey’s Russian girlfriend (Anastasia Bondarenko) gets wind of it she has her own little scheme to make money and up the ante.
While humorous in parts, each protagonist erodes audience sympathy as they go about the serious business of double-cross. This direction hits it right on the mark, as the audience has no clue as to who will come out of this rich or alive.
The Ante is a Gold Remi Award winner at the 41st WorldFest Houston International Film Festival.