Win Win Tom McCarthy

Win Win Tom McCarthy
A wise man once said, "Paul Giamatti doesn't do shit," which is largely true. A prototypical character actor, Giamatti lends class to projects where he's collecting a paycheque and is a reliable sign of quality when he assumes a lead role, be it in marquee stuff like American Splendor and Barney's Version or eccentric labour-of-love roles like the amazing and under-seen The Hawk is Dying. Guys like Giamatti are one of the best reasons to go to the movies, whether or not you know their names. In Win Win, Giamatti plays to his greatest strength, as a regular, schlubby kind of guy having to deal with difficult circumstances and trying to stop himself from becoming completely unhinged. Here, he's Mike Flaherty, a lawyer specializing in "elder care," trying to make ends meet, who winds up taking care of the runaway grandson of one of his clients. Mike is as regular as it gets and Win Win feels like a simple slice-of-life. The film goes beyond realism ― this is realism without realist affectation. Director/screenwriter Tom McCarthy may not have a distinctive directorial style, but his work here, and in previous films The Station Agent and The Visitor, demonstrates a sort of "McCarthy touch" where, through attention to detail in dialogue and scenario, and attentiveness to the avoidance of cliché, he's able to extrapolate genuine human drama from relatively mundane situations. McCarthy's work may not be flashy, and it may also be a few steps away from being truly profound, but it's unflinchingly honest. Win Win is a story about struggling for survival ― not in the grand sense, but in the day-to-day sense ― and McCarthy's light touch creates the type of film that resonates now and will continue to. Oh, it's also pretty funny. The disc comes with a fair helping of special features, mostly promo-style interviews with the director and cast. (Fox)