Winning Streak (film)

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Winning Streak
Directed byEduard Cortés
Written byEduard Cortés
Piti Español
Produced byDaniel Hernández
Loris Omedes
StarringDaniel Brühl
Lluís Homar
Miguel Ángel Silvestre
Eduard Fernández
Blanca Suárez
CinematographyDavid Omedes
Edited byKoldo Idígoras
Music byMicka Luna
Production
companies
Alea Docs & Films
Bausan Films
Canal+ Spain
TVC
TVE
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Film Factory Entertainment
Release date
  • 21 April 2012 (2012-04-21) (Málaga)
Running time
100 minutes
CountrySpain
LanguagesSpanish
French
Mandarin
Box office$1,969,150 (Spain)

Winning Streak (Spanish: The Pelayos) is a 2012 Spanish comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Eduard Cortés. It stars an ensemble cast that includes Daniel Brühl, Lluís Homar, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Eduard Fernández and Blanca Suárez. It is based on the exploits of the García-Pelayo family. The film premiered on 21 April 2012 at the 15th Málaga Film Festival.[1]

Background[edit]

The film is based on the life story and multifaceted personality of Gonzalo García-Pelayo Segovia, a Spanish citizen who had a diverse career as a film director,[2] TV host, music producer, professional gambler, games expert, sponsor for professional poker players and creator of the online CRYPT-FIAT platform Mind.Capital,[3] dedicated to buying and selling in the cryptocurrency exchange market.[4][5]

Pelayo's great leap to fame came when he developed a legal statistics-and-betting system that allowed him to win more than 1.2 million euros in the game of roulette, in the early 1990s, with the help of his family.[2][6] García-Pelayo is currently remembered throughout the world for having made "jump the bank" in different world casinos with the mentioned system.[7] During the 1990s, "the Pelayos" were the public enemy of different casinos inside and outside Europe. His formula led them to earn as much as 13 million pesetas in a single night, something that did not sit well with some of the big casinos: in Las Vegas, the group was even threatened at gunpoint to stop them playing.[7]

Years after making the headlines, Pelayo and his family chose to bet on online poker, launching an academy where they explained new methods that helped win it.[7] One of his school's apprentices, Carlos Mortensen, became a poker world champion in 2001,[7] sponsored by Pelayo. However, according to Pelayo, the new gaming regulations were limiting the profits, and as a result "all the good players we had decided to leave".[7] As of 2017 Pelayo is still banned from entering casinos in France and Denmark.[7]

Plot synopsis[edit]

Gonzalo García Pelayo (Lluís Homar) has been trying for years to work out a system to legally win money in a local casino, which is run by the infamous The Beast (Eduard Fernández). When he realizes he has succeeded in doing so, using a system based on wheel bias, he drags his family in to help — son Iván (Daniel Brühl), daughter Vanessa (Marina Salas), their cousins Marcos (Oriol Vila) and muscle-bound Alfredo (Miguel Ángel Silvestre), and family friend Balón (Vicente Romero).

Driven by Ivan's desire to give his father a decent old age, the gang sets to work, at first unsuccessfully. But when they start winning, the Beast's suspicions are aroused, and he puts a private detective onto them. Alfredo compromises the plan by getting involved with croupier Ingrid (Blanca Suárez), who is summarily fired by the Beast. Next, Iván starts a romance with Chinese wild girl Shui (Hui Chi Chiu), whose friends turn out to be quite handy later on.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

Winning Streak premiered at the 15th Málaga Film Festival on 21 April 2012,[1] and began its theatrical run in Spain on 27 April 2012. The film was also released in theatres in Russia and Poland, and in Canada it was shown at both the Ottawa European Union Film Festival—on 16 November 2012—and the Vancouver European Union Film Festival on 23 November 2013. It was released straight-to-DVD in Brazil, Germany, Greece and Japan.[8]

The film was on the program of the 2014 edition of Thailand's EU Film Festival, shown in the cities of Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Advertised as The Pelayos, the film was one of seven films that were shown in all three cities.[9]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film received mixed to negative reviews from film critics. Jonathan Holland of the Variety wrote, "Ocean's Eleven tries to become a Hispanic Magnificent Seven in Winning Streak a disappointingly straight-ahead take on one family's high-risk attempt to get rich by beating the casinos. Despite its terrific real-life storyline, a couple of fine perfs and slick visuals, the pic stumbles in its eagerness to please all comers, failing to generate much real tension and leaving its characters as flat as poker chips".[10] Sonia Sanz of Cultture.com criticized actors Daniel Brühl, Lluís Homar, Oriol Vila, Eduard Fernández and Blanca Suárez for their "underwhelming" performances, and called the film itself "disappointing".[11] Emilio Luna of the El Antepenúltimo Mohicano gave the film a rather negative review and awarded it with four out of ten stars.[12]

In a more positive review of the film, Patrick Mullen of Cinemablographer.com wrote, "Brühl and Homar's work is worth noting since they manage to draw out characters that don't seem to be part of the film's thin script. [...] Winning Streak is a fun little caper all the same, slight as it may be. Winning Streak probably won't break the bank, but it should at least break even", and gave the film three out of five stars.[13]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Nominated Result Reference
Gaudí Awards Best Production Manager Eduard Vallès Won [14]
Best Art Direction Balter Gallart Nominated
Best Cinematography David Omedes Nominated
Best Film not in the Catalan Language Winning Streak Nominated
Málaga Film Festival Awards Best Film Editing Koldo Idígoras Won [15]
Neox Fan Awards Best Film Actress Blanca Suárez Won [16]
Best Film Winning Streak Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Arranca el festival de cine de Málaga con 'The Pelayos', un 'Ocean's eleven' a la española". 20 minutos (in Spanish). 21 April 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b Don Pelayo, the man who wants to dismantle internet security, by Jaime Rodríguez 12-22-2015, El Mundo (in Spanish)
  3. ^ Mind.capital, the world's first CRYPT-FIAT platform 12-02-2019, invertirencriptomonedas.net (in Spanish)
  4. ^ Mind Capital: Crypto-fiat arbitrage, a refuge for the markets in the current crisis 03-24-2020, Yahoo! Finance
  5. ^ The crypto-fiat arbitration, a refuge for the markets under the current crisis 03-19-2020, Europapress.es (in Spanish)
  6. ^ Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo's Website
  7. ^ a b c d e f The man who collapsed casinos wants to be the ambassador of Spanish bitcoin 11-0-2017, Economia Digital Galicia (in Spanish)
  8. ^ "Release Info for Winning Streak (2012)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Showtimes EU Film Festival 2014". SFX Cinemas. SFX Cinemas. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  10. ^ Holland, Jonathan (11 May 2012). "Winning Streak". Variety. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  11. ^ Sanz, Sonia (27 April 2012). "Crítica de 'The Pelayos': sobredosis de guaycismo y fallo en el ritmo". Cultture.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  12. ^ Luna, Emilio (10 May 2012). "The Pelayos (Eduard Cortés, 2012)". El Antepenúltimo Mohicano (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  13. ^ Mullen, Patrick (18 November 2012). "EUFF Review: 'Winning Streak'". Cinemablographer.com. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  14. ^ "Las películas participadas por TVE se alzan con 11 galardones en la V edición de los Premios Gaudí". TVE (in Spanish). 4 February 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Así fue el Festival de Málaga de 2012" (PDF). Málaga Film Festival (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Paco León, Mario Casas, David Bustamante, Auryn y Blanca Suárez, ganadores de los Neox Fan Awards". Formula TV (in Spanish). 24 October 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2013.

External links[edit]