Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.
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.Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
In the movie Kyle Timmons (Alex Shaffer) is shown to be a wrestler from Ohio who starts to compete in New Jersey in order to become state champion when in actuality he himself is a real New Jersey state wrestling champion. See more »
When the team is on the bus heading to a match, they are going from their school in NJ to another school in NJ. However, the shot of the road they are driving down is in Rockville Centre, Long Island, NY (one of the admitted locations where the movie was filmed). In traveling from one school in NJ to another school in NJ, there would be absolutely no reason to pass through LI. See more »
[to the wrestling team]
Now, did you all see what Kyle did the other day? He exploded up, right? Kyle, show the guys what you did.
It's kind of my own thing.
Well, can you share it with us?
But it's not even a move or anything.
All right. Well, I just tell myself that the guy on top's tryin' to take my head and shove it under water and kill me, and if I don't wanna die on bottom, I have to do whatever the fuck it takes to get out.
[breaking a stunned silence]
Okay. So the move is "...
[...] See more »
Win Win is the third film from talented writer/director Thomas McCarthy, and like his past indie gems The Visitor & The Station Agent he finds a way to bring out an unexpected humor from the scenes in unique ways. Although his third film isn't necessarily a step up from his past endeavors, it's obvious McCarthy knows how to tell a good story.
Win Win is blessed with a talented cast, and although there isn't any major stretches or performances to be blown away by, it's a talented cast from top to bottom who are very comfortable bringing these characters to life. Paul Giamatti (Sideways, American Splendor) showcases his usual mastery of the lovable loser schlub that most real people can relate to. Amy Ryan, playing the Jersey wife and protective mother with a love of Jon Bon Jovi, continues to show off her acting range from her role as Michael Scott's soul mate Holly on The Office, to her tour de force Academy Award nominated role in 2007's Gone Baby Gone.
Newcomer Alex Shaffer displays a subtle maturity as a teenager hiding the pain from a neglectful childhood. Burt Young, best know for his role as Paulie in the Rocky movies, is terrific as Leo, an aging man dealing with the early stages of dementia. He says so much with just the smallest grin across his face.
Melanie Lynskey, probably best known as the crazy neighbor Rose on the popular sitcom Two and a Half Men, playing the greedy daughter and washed up, absentee mother continues to find ways to shine with the smallest of character parts. From her bit roles in Up in the Air, The Informant & Away We Go it's only a matter of time before she gets her shot at some starring roles.
Although Win Win isn't as deep as McCarthy's past films, and didn't leave a lasting impression and keep me thinking about the movie long after the credits rolled, it found a way to accomplish something most films don't. It tells an entertaining, realistic, believable story and I'm okay with that.
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