Saturday, April 23, 2011

Win Win is a real Winner

Win Win (4 out of 5 stars)
Directed and Written by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor)
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor, and Alex Shaffer

Mike Flaherty (Giamatti) is not the most successful lawyer; he has only a few clients and is financial trouble.  On the side Flaherty works with Stephen Vigman (Tambor) as a high school wrestling coach.  As Mike starts to ponder his financial woes a rich client drops in his lap and his situation starts to look differently.  When Mike takes over the clients care and puts him in a home.  Mike and his wife Jackie (Ryan) go to old man's house only to find his estranged grandson Kyle on the doorstep.  Mike and Jackie take the boy in because his mother is in rehab, and they begin to form a bond with young child. 

Mike starts to build a bond with Kyle over his great wrestling abilities.  Giamatti is a terrific actor, and I think would enjoy watching him read the phone book (probably not), but he is a so effortless.  The connection between Giamatti's money woes and his desire to be a good father is strong and Giamatti nails every scene.

My friend Keith stated "I could watch Amy Ryan and Alex Shaffer just walk in a grocery store for the whole movie."  Ryan is great, and her connection with Shaffer though not as strong as Giamatti's is well played in their trip to the grocery store where she finally feels as though he is her son.

This film is poignant and makes you think about family, but there are also a lot of laughs.  Bobby Cannavale plays Terry Delfino, Mike's best friend and his comic timing adds the much needed jolt that livens this film up and keeps the audience hooked.  The main strength is vision of the writer/director Thomas McCarthy.  McCarthy's is a great visionary of human character, this film is another great study in people and their connections with one another.

My Recommendation: Worth the 10 dollars!

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