The Spring is here folks and you know what that means. Brighter days, warmer weather, extensive gym workouts, sprouting tulips and the box office blossoming with an amazing film. It’s a “win win” situation. Get it? Read on.
“Win Win” is a movie that is for everyone. Plain and simple and “wins” in every category. Casting, story, music, emotion, direction well you name it, it wins. Plus, the story takes place in my home state of New Jersey where some of the best Hollywood films (and TV shows) are made and where some of the biggest stars in Hollywood came from.
Writer-director Tom McCarthy knows how to write, director, act and how to make great movies. He can also discover talent as he did with newcomer Alex Shaffer. McCarthy is known for tapping into the emotional side of people with his scripts and this film is no exception. It’s a great film people!
The cast includes the incredibly talented Paul Giamatti (I’m a big fan since his film “Sideways”), the versatile & amazing actress Amy Ryan (I think the “R” should stand for “Rocks”), Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tamor and Burt Young and Alex Shaffer, who already has won the hearts of millions as a first -time actor who clearly knows how to hold his own on screen.
The story revolves around Mike Flaherty(Giamatti) a lawyer married to Jackie (Ryan) living a simple life in suburbia New Jersey and trying to make ends meet. Flaherty is given legal guardianship of an elderly client (Bert Young) and does a little wheeling and dealing in client care when he gets a visitor- the client’s grandson Kyle (Shaffer). Kyle is a high-school talented wrestler who needs a lot more than hair gel and pretty girls to get back on track. With mom in rehab, Kyle has no place to go so he stays with Flaherty and in essence, turns their lives upside down, but in a good way. Did I mention that Flaherty also happens to be moonlighting as a part-time wrestling coach? The story transforms into one of the most emotional and heart-warming movies you will ever see. You will also be astounded at Shaffer’s remarkable performance. How good? Ah, let’s just say you may see the young star on the red carpet soon behind a 75 feet high golden statue.
Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti is simply brilliant in the film. What else is there to say?
Directed and written by the ingenious actor turn director Tom McCarthy, the gifted filmmaker is probably one of the few directors that knows how to touch the soul of the audiences through his way of making films and his way of bringing characters to life. His previous films “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor” were brilliant films based on human emotions and unexplainable friendships. So I knew what to expect when I saw “Win Win” and got exactly what I had hoped for- an emotional film that shows the strength of the human spirit and will make you think about the story long after you leave the theater.
Amy Ryan is awesome. Her versatility in acting has always been noted by the critics. Her role as Adele in the HBO show “In Treatment” (one of my favorite shows) gave the show a special refinement while her role as Holly in the hit television series “The Office” raised the caliber of the show in many ways. Ryan has been one of my favorite actresses for a long time and “Win Win” proves that the pretty actress is indeed one of the most talented actresses we have today.
Giamatti in my opinion is one of the most proficient and versatile actors there is today in Hollywood. The actor earned a SAG Award for his compelling performance in “Cinderella Man” as well as an Academy Award nomination. The star recently finished up “Ironclad” in which the award-winning actor portrays “King John” in the year 1215.
During a media event in NY, director McCarthy talked about how he wanted amazing music for the film but didn’t have the budget to pay a big rockstar. And we all know that big time musicians don’t even bat an eyelash unless they see $$$$ up front. But the influential McCarthy managed to rope in the mega superstar and well-loved singer Bon Jovi who allowed McCarthy to use his song “Have A Nice Day” in the film for next to nothing. Now that’s clout people!!
What I found special about the film and meeting the cast in person, is that besides having a great storyline and being well-respected and talented actors, there was a certain positive energy and feel-good chemistry that came from both seeing the film and meeting the talented group. For more info on the film and national release dates, go to http://www.foxsearchlight.com.
So in all it’s been a “Win Win” experience for The Ravi Report!
The journey continues….