Paul Auster's book The Music of Chance
is a curious inspiration for a movie, and the resulting effort from Philip and Belinda Haas is a curious film--one that, like its source, is unusual, absorbing, and more than a little frustrating.
Mandy Patinkin plays Jim Nashe, a former Boston fireman who has spent more than a year driving across America, spending a $200,000 inheritance. As the film opens, he finds a bloodied young man in a leisure suit limping along the Taconic Parkway. Offering him a lift to New York, he learns that
his passenger is Jack Pozzi (James Spader), a precocious poker prodigy. Pozzi explains that he had been fleecing a roomful of "youn...