Tuesday 29 Jul

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05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Drama · Win Win

Win Win

A tale of desperate measures in financially desperate times

Phil Bacharach April 13th, 2011

In “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor,” writer/director Thomas McCarthy explored the dynamics of family, but not in the conventional sense.

The characters in those films created their own families. His newest work, “Win Win,” manages to take a nuclear family and still convert it into something different and deeper.

Paul Giamatti (“Barney’s Version”) plays Mike Flaherty, a New Jersey attorney with a struggling practice and mounting debt. When he finds himself with an opportunity to become legal guardian to Leo (Burt Young, “Rocky Balboa”), an elderly client suffering from dementia, Mike stifles his ethics for the $1,500 monthly payments. Promising the court he will allow Leo to continue living at home, Mike parks the old man in a nearby nursing home, pockets the money and doesn’t breathe a word of it to his wife (Amy Ryan, TV’s “The Office”).

The scheme hits a snag with the sudden arrival of Leo’s longestranged grandson, Kyle (newcomer Alex Shaffer). Eager to keep things on track, Mike becomes a surrogate father for the troubled teen. The unexpected houseguest even proves to be another boon for Mike, as Kyle is a gifted wrestler, and the high school team Mike coaches in his downtime desperately needs the help.

Distinguished by strong performances and a generosity to its flawed characters, “Win Win” mostly avoids stumbling into domestic melodrama. It’s funny and wise — always a welcome combo — and also very much a film of today, a tale of desperate measures in financially desperate times.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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