Sunday, May 1, 2011

Win Win - movie review

Nobody can bring such a realism to a movie the way Paul Giamatti can. Add Amy Ryan as the wife in the story and let it happen in New Jersey..well, you've got yourself an interesting story. The film was directed by Tom McCarthy, Written by Tom McCarthy and Joe Tiboni.

Times are hard. Even for lawyers. And Giomatti's Mike Flaherty helps old people. If he's not doing that he's either fixing the toilet at work or coaching wrestling at the high school in the evenings. Needless to say Flaherty is a little stressed out and not sure how to make ends meet, especially with a growing family.

He has the opportunity to help Leo Poplar played by the amazing Burt Young(Mr. Poplar). To keep Poplar from being a ward of the state, Flaherty becomes his guardian. Of course, they are both helping each other out. Flaherty is getting a commission and Leo has a place to stay. But then Poplar's grandson shows up from Ohio..and everything changes.

This is Alex Shaffer's first movie and he was perfect for the part. After-all, in reality Shaffer won the New Jersey State Wrestling-ship..not so long ago. But Shaffer is more than just a wrestler. He's a natural as runaway Kyle who can't stand his druggie rehab Mom, played quaintly by Melanie Lynskey.

Really, the movie has a wonderful cast. Bobby Cannavale plays Flaherty's friend, Terry. Cannavale is such a physical actor. Also I must mention teenage David W. Thompson as Stemler was such a scene stealer. Also, Clare Foley as the daughter Abby was so wonderful. I loved the way she delivered her lines. Her opening in the movie was so fun..yet very natural.

Such a wonderful script and some wonderful acting. I'm hoping this movie will open new doors for Alex Shaffer. I really loved him in this role. Its really one of my favorite movies this year.

STORYLINE: Disheartened attorney Mike Flaherty (Giamatti), who moonlights as a high school wrestling coach, stumbles across a star athlete through some questionable business dealings while trying to support his family. Just as it looks like he will get a double payday, the boy's mother shows up fresh from rehab and flat broke, threatening to derail everything.

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