Win Win

Rated R 106 min. 2011

Paul Giamatti plays Mike Flaherty: husband, wrestling coach, lawyer, and beloved mensch in his small Jersey town. He’s a guy oozing decency and good intentions. While the rest of the world is living large, Mike is just barely eking by, existing painfully within his means and driving a Subaru. Finding himself in dire economic straits, Mike decides to enhance his monthly income by serving as the legal guardian of elderly client Leo Poplar (Burt Young) whose deadbeat daughter (Melanie Lynskey) is in rehab, overstepping his professional relationship with a nasty taint of self-serving greed to boot. Win Win is a film interested in how a basically decent man can make a decision that proves potentially ruinous, especially once the man’s grandson Kyle (Alex Shaffer) shows up on his doorstep asking questions about Leo’s new nursing home accommodations. Mike and his Jersey-tough, no-nonsense wife Jackie (a winning Amy Ryan) take Kyle in until his mother can get out of rehab. And gradually, his mute, troubled facade melts away. Despite the juvenile delinquent drag, Kyle reveals himself to be a good kid devoted to his surly grandfather, and he harbors the secret of being an exceptionally gifted wrestler. Like a shark smelling blood in the water, Mike and his fellow wrestling coach and office mate Stephen Vigman (Jeffrey Tambor) go into attack mode, enrolling Kyle in the local high school and suiting him up to take their team of easily pinned misfits to the championship. It’s a jaw-droppingly simple, sweet idea. And it’s the perfect remedy for a brash, bellowing world where such small, earnest endearments are easily overlooked.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.foxsearchlight.com/winwin

Director: Thomas McCarthy

Writer: Thomas McCarthy

Producer: Lisa Maria Falcone, Michael London and Mary Jane Skalski

Cast: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Melanie Lynskey, Jeffrey Tambor, Burt Young, Bobby Cannavale, Amy Landecker, Margo Martindale, Finise Avery and Todd Fredericks

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Win Win

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