Win Win

Win Win

Thomas McCarthy (2011)

101min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Despite the title, Paul Giamatti plays another lovable loser in co-writer/director Tom McCarthy's comedy drama. He stars as Mike Flaherty, who coaches a hopeless school wrestling team while also running an unprofitable New Jersey legal practice. Flaherty seeks to improve his finances by offering to house an elderly client with dementia, only to put him in a home and collect the monthly benefit payments. However, when the man's grandson (Alex Shaffer) shows up, Flaherty's guilt surfaces and he offers the boy a guiding hand - while also benefiting from his prodigious wrestling talent. It's a contrived plot, but thankfully McCarthy avoids clichéd scenes of sporting triumph in favour of a low-key approach similar to his previous films The Station Agent and The Visitor. And while another actor might lose your sympathy, Giamatti effectively portrays the quiet desperation of a decent man on the edge, and it's his soul-searching turn that keeps you pinned to your seat.

Summary

An attorney has serious financial worries, while the high-school wrestling team he coaches is on a lengthy losing streak. He sees a solution to both problems by becoming legally responsible for an elderly client so he can claim financial aid, then recruiting the old man's athletic grandson for the team - but his lies start to catch up with him. Comedy drama, starring Paul Giamatti and Alex Shaffer.

Cast & Crew

Mike Flaherty Paul Giamatti
Jackie Flaherty Amy Ryan
Terry Delfino Bobby Cannavale
Stephen Vigman Jeffrey Tambor
Leo Poplar Burt Young
Cindy Melanie Lynskey
Kyle Alex Shaffer
Eleanor Margo Martindale
Stemler David Thompson (2)
Peter Vigman Alan Aisenberg
Director Thomas McCarthy
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxGuidance: SwearingAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 20 May 2011
Drama Comedy