Movie Review: Win Win

Zoe WilsonSoftware and s/w Development

Sep 26, 2020 (28 days and 23 hours ago)


"Win Win,” the dramedy written and directed by Thomas McCarthy (“The Visitor,” “The Station Agent”) and starring award-winning thespian Paul Giamatti, has heart, brains and courage.

Movie Review: Win Win

"Win Win,” the dramedy written and directed by Thomas McCarthy (“The Visitor,” “The Station Agent”)
and starring award
winning thespian Paul Giamatti
, has heart, brains and courage. The beautifully
crafted story focuses on different men all going through personal storms, as each does whatever he can
to reclaim a home of his own. Watch this film free with

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The film begins with a typical suburban family getting ready for the day. Mike (Giamatti), his wife Jackie
(Amy Ryan) and their two young kids all congregate in the kitchen. There’s both affection and humor
from the get
go a
nd the audience can easily recognize itself in this middle class setting. Mike, a lawyer,
then leaves for work

his office is an old transformed house

that he shares with Stephen (Jeffrey
Tambor), a CPA. The basement’s pipes rattle. The copier bill is l
ate and Mike fixes the plumbing himself.
Business is slow and the breadwinner doesn’t know what he’s going to do.

He shares some of his woes with best friend Terry (Bobby Cannavale) who is facing his own turmoil,
dealing with the separation from his wife,

who is having an affair with the repairman. The two men are
jogging partners and during one of their runs Mike has an anxiety attack. This leads to the brainchild
idea that he become warden of one of his only paying clients

a wealthy man named Leo who w
ants to
live at home, but whom the state finds incapable of living on his own. Mike swears to the judge that he
will allow Leo (Burt Young) to live with him

then drops him off at a senior living facility. In exchange for
his guardianship duties, Mike now

earns an extra $1500 a month.

The plan seems foolproof until Mike and Amy stop by Leo’s house to check on it and find a teenager
sitting by the front door. Kyle (Alex Shaffer, making his debut) wants to live with Leo

his grandfather

and, instead, mov
es in with this new family. Shortly after, he surprises everyone with his wrestling skills.
This turns beneficial for Mike, who coaches a losing team with Stephen. And, once Terry witnesses Kyle’s
talents, he offers his coaching skills as well, because he’
s “fun” and, mostly, because he needs a place to
escape while dealing with his divorce.

As imagined, a camaraderie forms between all the men, including the other wrestlers, and with that
cohesion, also, a codependency that feels so natural that the charac
ters begin to forget what their lives
were like before this boy arrived on the door step. With each new point of tension, a new resolve
follows, opening the relationship between Mike and Jackie and, also, between everyone else woven into
the same web.


storyline could have easily found itself to be a predictable, sentimental and redundant piece of
television fluff. However, because of the surprising dialogue and the transparent and superb
performance of each actor, the movie rises into a caliber reserve
d for those memorable films that
people will be re
watching and quoting for years. It’s just a matter of time before “man strength” finds
itself into the vernacular.

Part “The Blind Side” and part “Little Miss Sunshine,” “
Win Win
” also defines an entirely new genre of
movie: The guy flick. It’s that rare moment when men are allowed to express their feelings and, even
more importantly, allowed to own up to those emotions in an arena they
know all too well: sports. Sans
guns or violence, superheroes or special affects, “Win Win” provides a release for a gender that hasn’t
been kindly portrayed on the screen in decades: a man
child buffoon?

As The National lead singer Matt Beringer stated a
fter talking about the haunting song his band wrote
for the film, “Think You Can Wait,” the film’s themes are about “very normal and good people trying to
do their best and the struggle to be good.” In this, “Win Win” is victorious.