Win WinFeature Film | Thomas McCarthy By John Wilson
Another earnest victory for writer/director Tom McCarthy.
In writer/director Thomas McCarthy's Win Win, a finely tuned ensemble led by Paul Giamatti brings to life a well-written script that tugs at the heartstrings while delivering just the right amount of laughs. Giamatti stars as Mike Flaherty, a down-on-his-luck New Jersey lawyer who, along with his business partner Vig (a typically sardonic Jeffrey Tambor), coaches high school wrestling. When an ethically questionable decision regarding a client leads him to take Kyle (Alex Shaffer), a quiet boy with a troubled past, into his home, Mike's woeful wrestling team unwittingly finds a new star. The members of the cast are all fantastic in their own way: Giamatti is wonderfully immersed in his neurotic character, Amy Ryan is adorable and endearing, Bobby Cannavale (as Mike's cuckolded best friend Terry) is amusingly manic, and newcomer Shaffer (an actual wrestling champ) is convincing as a sullen teen. Win Win has all the elements of a great sports movie—emotion, adversity, and a serious rooting interest in the competitor—without seeming like a sports movie. McCarthy's intimate style truly elevates his thoroughly believable script, which is at once relatable and unique. Win Win is consistently clever rather than outwardly funny, but the touch of seriousness serves only to enhance this genuinely enjoyable and well-rounded film.
|Win Win Trailer|