Thursday, February 10, 2011
"Win Win" is an absolutely beautiful movie from every aspect. The script is delicately put together with just enough humor, foreshadowing, and symbolism. The casting was spot on with some of my personal favorites. The vision from the director is executed flawlessly. I clearly cannot say enough about how much I liked this movie, so I won't stop. The evening was capped off with a wonderful Q&A session with the writer/director, Thomas McCarthy, and first time actor Alex Shaffer.
"Whatever it fucking takes" is the message that shines through this movie and is a great way to look at the challenges that are set in front of us. Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan are Mike and Jackie Flaherty, a married couple with two kids in New Jersey. Mike is the proud provider for the family that even though he has a strong relationship with his wife he cannot tell her that they are having financial problems. He finds a shortcut to the financial problem by being the guardian to an elderly man, but that comes with its own set of complications. Included with those complications is a teenager that is the grandson of the man who is looking to escape.
Thomas McCarthy, who also wrote "The Station Agent", is the heart and soul of the movie as he wrote a script with the actors for the lead roles already in mind. Paul Giamatti was perfectly written into this character who is a struggling attorney and a high school wrestling coach. Amy Ryan apparently lives in the neighborhood with Thomas McCarthy and was written into this role from the start. It was good to see her in a loving motherly role as compared to some of her edgier roles in recent years. The surprise is Alex Shaffer as Kyle. He actually won the state wrestling tournament for his weight class prior to filming, which makes the wrestling shots even more impressive. When Jackie tells Kyle that they love him you could tell that it was the first time that someone has told him that.
This is my first 5 Quack of the 2011 year, so lets see if it will have the lasting power to get the attention from the Academy in a year from now. I think that at the very least the script should get a nomination for original screenplay and Thomas McCarthy should also get some consideration for his directing job especially considering the unknown actor he used in such a large role.
(screening 2/23/11, release date 3/18/11, location AMC Loews Georgetown)