Gia­matti on a win­ner

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH win­win­movie. com Now show­ing State Cin­ema

NO ONE can do down-and-out-andup-to-some­thing in a movie bet­ter than the great Paul Gia­matti.

The per­pet­u­ally sly and rum­pled star of Side­ways and Bar­ney’s Ver­sion is in fine form in Win Win, a grace­ful light com­edy with a few wellplaced smudges of se­ri­ous drama.

Gia­matti plays Mike Fla­herty, a small-time small­town lawyer run­ning out of time and money fast. With a young fam­ily to pro­vide for, some quick think­ing is needed.

Or per­haps, no think­ing at all. One day in court, Mike finds him­self vol­un­teer­ing to be­come the guardian of Leo ( Burt Young), an el­derly lo­cal in the first stages of de­men­tia.

Why? So he can se­cretly claim the com­mis­sion from the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Leo’s es­tate, a stipend which ef­fec­tively dou­bles his weekly salary.

In an odd twist, Mike and his wife ( Amy Ryan) are also forced to take in Leo’s run­away grand­son Kyle ( Alex Shaf­fer, pic­tured with Gia­matti). As luck would have it, Kyle is a gifted ama­teur wrestler. And, wouldn’t you know it, in his spare time, Mike is a not-so-gifted wrestling coach.

Sud­denly, life is look­ing good for Mike Fla­herty. With the bucks rolling in and his young team on a roll, what could pos­si­bly go wrong? The an­swer of course, is ev­ery­thing.

The rot sets in once Leo’s right­ful heir – Kyle’s drug-ad­dicted ab­sen­tee mother ( Me­lanie Lynskey) – takes an in­ter­est in the wel­fare of her fa­ther.

Win Win is the work of re­spected Amer­i­can writer-di­rec­tor Thomas McCarthy, a shrewd op­er­a­tor whose films such as the 2007 gem The Vis­i­tor all trade in a wist­ful take on the ups and downs of ev­ery­day life.

With Gia­matti in com­plete con­trol from the open­ing scenes, there is no chance of Win Win los­ing your full at­ten­tion at any junc­ture.

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