Win Win (2011)

Win Win (2011) — Well, in just three films Tom McCarthy has become one of my favorite directors (okay to be honest he had it pretty much sewn up in two… and co-writing Up certainly helped). Win Win, like The Station Agent and The Visitor before it, is pretty much a perfect movie. I don’t know what gives McCarthy such a keen insight into human nature but I think the characters in his movies seem the most realistic and yet still relatable and compelling that I can remember seeing in any writer-director’s oeuvre. Paul Giamatti plays Mike Flaherty, a lawyer (and high school wrestling coach) who agrees to become the legal guardian for a senior citizen in the early stages of dementia (Burt Young). Through a series of events who also ends up taking care of the man’s teenage grandson, Kyle (an amazing newcomer named Alex Shaffer). The relationship between Mike and Kyle is the core of the movie and everything about it works. Also worth mentioning is The Wire‘s Amy Ryan as Mike’s wife Jackie and Bobby Cannavale as Mike’s recently divorced friend Terry. Maybe it’s just my own particular taste but I can’t think of a damn thing wrong with this movie. Very highly recommended.

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