by David Schuster
Wow....two straight movies that I really liked. What's the world coming to?
First it was "Water For Elephants" and now it's "Win Win" No, this is not a home made movie from the view point of Charlie Sheen. Rather it's a charming and very well made flick about a small town lawyer who is truly good on the inside but makes one very bad decision.
Paul Giamatti (son of former baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti) plays the attorney whose practice is not doing well and who needs money. He also dabbles as the high school wrestling coach whose team is like the "Bad News Bears." But much like in that movie this team is infused with a tremendous talent when a kid comes to town who was a star elsewhere. The kid is troubled by family life and Giamatti is tied into that family life by the wrong decision he made in his practice.
Giamatti has been in a host of great movies including "Cinderella Man,"
"The Truman Show," "Saving Private Ryan," and Barney's Version." And he's
not just a dramatic actor. He has been in diverse comedies like "Private
Parts," and soon will appear in "Hangover 2" But his best performance in
my opinion came in the movie "Sideways," and that established him as a
leading man who really doesn't have leading man looks. What he does have
is incredible acting chops.
Other great performances in "Win Win" come from Amy Ryan who plays
Giamatti's wife and from sixteen year old Alex Schaffer who makes his acting
debut. Schaffer plays the troubled young athlete who tends to keep his
emotions in until the end of the movie.
Wrestling is at the core of the movie but it could have been any sport
or not even any sport at all. This movie is about a good man who made a
rash bad judgement that almost comes back to ruin his and other's lives.
Good acting, good story and a good message. A home run - three and a half stars for "Win Win."
Eat your heart out Charlie Sheen.