The Movie: 8/10
What an awesome movie!!! I had a thoroughly good time watching it, talking about it later, and now thinking about it as I jot down my thoughts. It’s quiet and reflective and almost sweet. It’s not quite sweet though, so don’t worry. It’s on this side of charming or sappy, but if you were jaded and had a heart of rot you might find it a bit saccerine. I didn’t. I loved it. A family man makes a choice to exploit an opportunity to make enough money to keep his life from going under. He’s a good guy, gets tangled up with a teenager, and old man, and the teenager’s basket case mother. There is a best friend who borders on assholedom, a secretary I want to hire just to hang around my house all the time, and a wrestling team who could give the pre-Mighty Ducks a run for their money in the sad-sack department.
This is a heavily talky movie, which is awesome. The dialog is honest and believable. It’s got the right balance of humor and real guts to just keep me hung on every word. The cast is, as one, excellent. There isn’t a dud in the bunch. I get tired of singling out the “stars” of movies so this time I won’t. The entire bunch make it work. Every character has a touch of quirk, a touch of sadness, a touch of umph, and enough clever writer-enhancement to keep them just one foot in the Hollywood world, just not all the way into lala land. Some movies that are quiet like this have a certain overly pretentious, overly written quality (The Kids Are All Right). Win Win does not suffer from this, not at all.
What would we all do to take care of our families if the money was running out? There are a lot of answers to that question, some extreme, some middle of the road, but everyone would probably be tempted and act on certain opportunities if given the chance and the need. So, do we condemn the leading character for his choices? Do we hate the druggie mom who doesn’t take care of her son? Do we decide to think badly of the old man who might not have been as likable before the dementia kicked in? Everyone has a story. Everyone has choices to make in life that will not please everyone else. It’s just that we tend to ‘forgive’ or overlook certain people, certain choices, because they make sense. Watch the movie and you will know what I’m talking about. That’s just it, this movie makes me want to talk about life and choices and about this movie. I dig it when a movie hangs around in my head for a long time and makes me want to discuss the topics it hits on, the ideas it brings up, the characters and how they relate to my life or just life in general.
Win Win is, as my husband says, “A slice of life movie”. It’s got a story folded in, but it’s more like a glimpse into some lives as we are walking past. It sounds insulting to say it’s comfort food movie watching, but it really is. As I sat watching the teenage leading young man put his heart and soul into some very emotional moments, and then the wife delicately but powerfully show all the signs of being a wonderful mother, and everyone else, they were such well developed and perfectly relatable people I wanted to just stay there and watch them live more of their lives after this little chapter was over.
The music was good, the beautifully crafted believable sets were inviting, all this woven in with wrestling matches that even got me, a non sports person, perked up. Oh, I just really enjoyed this movie. I want everyone and anyone to see it. If Trust (from a few weeks ago) was a very hard core serious and disturbing life family lesson, Win Win is the same caliber in the quality department it’s just a whole different approach, and yet they both have A LOT to say about holding a family together through tough times. Win Win is like a starter movie for anyone who wants to watch with their teens….Trust is the final exam to be pre-watched and contemplated by the grown ups and then introduced to the teens who might learn some of it’s harder lessons.
Watch Win Win on a weekend night with the family and a big bucket of popcorn. A good triple pairing, like a fine with with dinner and dessert, would be Win Win, Juno, and In Good Company. Don’t ask me why exactly, they simply seem to go together in my mind.
- Deleted Scenes – There’s not much here to add to the movie, and I like the movie as it is.
- Tom Mcarthy & Joe Tiboni Discuss Win Win – More talking and thinking about Win Win:)
- David Thompson At Sundance 2011 – The whys and whatfors about the movie at the popular film festival.
- In Conversation With Tom McCarthy & Paul Giamatti At Sundance 2011 – I like a good discussion about certain movies, but for some reason I wanted to let this one stand on its own, so I didn’t watch this.
- Family – Small promotional featurette, nothing to write home about.
- Music Video By The National – hmm
Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
Good cover, functional menu, great movie. I would have this cover as a poster, absolutely. I wouldn’t have it just because I like the look of it, but because I would like to be reminded of the movie every time I look at it.
Audio & Video: 9/10 (By Ascully)
Win Win is a 2011 movie so you would assume it was shot digitally right? Wrong this small indie drama was shot on film and looks beautiful as it is enriched with lots of grain. The movie looks great from shot to shot with really nice lighting and a well used color palette. The movie does not feature many dark scenes but some of the more shadowy areas retain a lot of detail. Overall the video qulaity is as perfect as you can get from a 1080P presentation.
The DTS-HD Master Audio track as usual for a comedy/drama is subdued and realistic. Volume levels are high and speech is centered and clear throughout the entire movie. I was complaining about film studios using a higher sound mix recently, but found out it was actually a firmware update on the PS3 that raised the volume a little. So, ignore what I have said in the last 3 reviews about loud movies 🙂
Overall I loved this little movie. I challenge anyone not to get something from it.
It’s an excellent movie. It looks good and has reasonable extras. It is not worth the current asking price in some places, around 30 bucks. No way am I spending that on a movie, not even one that I enjoy so much. Therefore, rent it. That’s about as clear as I can be on the subject. If the price drops down to around 12 or 15, I would want to own it. If it stays at the prices they want for it right now, my one time view is enough and later I might rent it for a couple of bucks. Gee whiz people, we know you spent a lot to make the movie, but that was your choice. Don’t turn people off by making it so expensive!!! Lower price sells more!!!
Overall Score 8.5/10