a win­ner in bit­ter­sweet small town

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - BIG SCREEN - Da­mon Smith

thinks his prayers have been an­swered when he agrees to act as legal guardian to el­derly client Leo (Young), who has early Alzheimer’s – a role which brings $1,500 a month. Mat­ters are com­pli­cated when Leo’s grand­son Kyle (Shaf­fer) turns up, hav­ing run away from his neg­li­gent mother (Lynskey). Mike’s wife Jackie (Ryan) is re­luc­tant to al­low the wastrel to stay, lock­ing Kyle in a base­ment room. “We have kids. I’m not tak­ing any chances with Eminem down there!” she hisses. In time, the Fla­her­tys be­come a sur­ro­gate fam­ily for the trou­bled lad, en­cour­ag­ing him to join the school wrestling team which Mike coaches with friends Terry (Can­navale) and Stephen (Jef­frey Tam­bor). Win Win is a heart­break­ing ac­count of a fam­ily un­rav­el­ling at the seams and the emo­tion­ally-wounded teenager who un­ex­pect­edly pro­vides the cat­a­lyst for change. Gia­matti and Ryan de­liver com­pelling lead per­for­mances and new­comer Shaf­fer is a rev­e­la­tion. Mc­Carthy’s ear for di­a­logue is as acute as ever and even if the tri­als and tribu­la­tions are re­solved a lit­tle too neatly, we’re con­tent be­cause though they make poor choices, the char­ac­ters de­serve all of the good for­tune they can muster. FAM­ILY WATCH: Swearing, No Sex, Vi­o­lence.

Paul Gia­matti is on crack­ing form.


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