Excerpt: Mike (Paul Giamatti) is a lawyer with two kids and a loving wife, so it would seem his life is more than solid. But his practice is on the brink of shutdown, as his elder-care cases just haven’t been profitable enough. He hasn’t told his wife about the situation however, as he hopes to turn things around before he needs to inform her. But with money in short supply and his office in need of maintenance, his time seems rather short.
Conclusion: You might not love Win Win , but the chances are great that you'll like it, especially if you have a taste for independent cinema, as the near-unanimously approving population of film critics tend to. With three distinctive, celebrated, character-driven films (plus story contributions to Up that have to count for something), Tom McCarthy has confirmed himself as a writer/director to watch.
Conclusion: 'Win Win' was one of my very favorite movies at Sundance earlier this year, and remains one of my sleeper favorites of the year. Its view of teenagers is a refreshing, realistic approach. It's a coming of age story that seems to sidestep the clichés and deliver a thoughtful resolution. It's hard to believe this is Shaffer's only acting experience. He's a natural, and should go far if he decides to follow this acting thing as a career. 'Win Win' is highly recommended.
Excerpt: Win Win is the kind of movie I hope remains looked at as one of the early pleasures of 2011. I do not think it will necessarily be one of my favorites of the year (honorable mention, sure), but it has the kind of charm and humor that makes for a movie I want many people to see. Paul Giamatti leads a talented cast, in a film that is a comedy-drama about family, teenage angst, and wrestling.
Conclusion: I knew next to nothing about Win Win going in, but I was surprised by how deftly it manages to avoid both the forced "quirkiness" of most indie family dramas and the age-old conventions of underdog sports movies. This is a funny, emotionally rich film that's well-written and enjoyable in a meat- and-potatoes-moviemaking kind of way. 20th Century Fox's Blu-ray looks and sounds wonderful, so if you're interested, I see no reason not to pick this one up. Recommended.
Excerpt: The Movie Paul Giamatti stars as yet another sympathetic loser in Win Win , this time as nice-guy New Jersey lawyer and high school wrestling coach Mike whose tolerably imperfect life quickly goes supernova. His funds are drying up, and mounting problems are triggering panic attacks. When he runs out of options, he has himself appointed guardian for one of his elderly clients in order to receive the monthly commission, albeit in a way that's at best not entirely ethical,...
Excerpt: The word that best describes Mike Flaherty, and really every character in Tom McCarthy's big-hearted new film Win Win is that handy Yiddishism "mensch." Mike is a practicing Catholic, raising a family and maintaining a struggling elder law practice in suburban New Jersey, the kind of guy who always does the right thing even when it lands him in debt or coaching a losing high school wrestling team.
Excerpt: Over the course of his three films to date— The Station Agent , The Visitor , and the new Win Win —actor-turned-writer/director Thomas McCarthy has focused closely on accidental families, formed among unhappy outsiders. His films are frequently touching and well-observed, and they’re packed with remarkable performances, but they’re most notable for the way they aren’t about characters so much as about the unsought but ultimately revitalizing relationships between them.