Friday, April 22, 2011


It was student night at The Ross, so admission was only a buck with your student ID for any showing. I went to Win Win, starring Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Canavale, and George Bluth (okay, not George Bluth, but the actor that plays him).

I first found out about the film watching trailers on and immediately put it on my calendar when I saw it was "coming to a theatre near me." I was drawn to it for Giamatti, the wrestling, and a nice enough story. Then I saw that it had a nice freshness rating at Rotten Tomatoes and had no doubt I was going to watch it.

The only review I actually read of the film was this one. Cliffs Notes version is the reviewer didn't want audiences to think the movie was a classic indie movie just because it was written and directed by the same guy, Tom McCarthy, that helmed The Station Agent (which I really loved) and The Visitor (critically acclaimed, including a Best Actor Oscar Nomination, but still in my Netflix queue unseen)and starred Giamatti, indie darling (I did just see him in Barney's Version at the Ross earlier this year.). The reviewer liked the stars' performances, but felt the movie relied on them being stars for there to be a "spark" for the film. Instead, the film was missing something for him.

After watching the film, I understand where the reviewer is coming from, but I disagree. There's two reasons I can see that it felt empty: there was a very spartan score for the film, often with no music underneath at all and when it was there, sparse indeed; and the story didn't have a very large amplitude.

The waves weren't very tall, or deep. That's okay. It's unnecessary to have characters dying or crying to tell a story well. I'm glad for McCarthy's restraint. I much prefer it to the Michael Scott Improv technique (he introduces a gun and shoots someone in every sketch).



At April 22, 2011 9:10 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

I miss the Ross. I really, really do.

At December 23, 2011 11:09 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Are they not checking the expiration dates on student IDs anymore? P.S., Ellen, Lincoln misses YOU. Move back already. We forgive you for leaving in the first place.


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