Directed by Tom McCarthy
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor, Burt Young, Melanie Lynskey, Alex Shaffer
Release: March 18, 2011
Reciprocity is what we find in all of director Tom McCarthy’s films and very rarely found in others’ films. He is a filmmaker who recognizes and spotlights individuals who are of two molds: caretakers and people who need taken care of. What defines a film by McCarthy, though, is his ability to make a character both caretaker and one who needs to be taken care of. His two previous films, The Station Agent and The Visitor, displayed individuals who were emotionally destroyed and in shameful situations. But yet there still remained in them a spark of life that has the ability to make the necessary preparations for getting themselves and others whose lives have been stifling out of a grievous situation. Win Win is no different. The film doesn’t see the human spirit as triumphant, and while that may sound bleak it is the foundation in which McCarthy constructs his films on. He evaluates his characters in a burdensome state only to find in them qualities that may allow them to rise against adversity.
Win Win, a comedy-drama that takes into consideration the fragility of the human spirit, is a small film with, sad to say, small ambitions. It plays it safe with the material it has while room for expansion is evident and much encouraged. McCarthy doesn’t magnify his material but rather keeps it subdued while we want more emotion, especially when we have actors capable of exploiting their internal and external frustrations.
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