For Reel


Win Win (2011)
April 12, 2011, 11:23 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Thomas McCarthy

The third effort by Thomas McCarthy (following The Station Agent and The Visitor), Win Win is an earnest, well-intentioned comedy that perhaps suffers by not taking the same risks as his previous efforts. Funny as the cast may be, the humor lacks edge and there isn’t a single joke that subverts expectations. However, the appearance of Melanie Lynskey late in the film momentarily salvages the familiarity of the material. As the mother of the troubled teenager, she surprisingly offers a whole, human performance that earns our sympathy and frustration in equal measure. McCarthy’s formula may be transparent – each of his films involves an outsider who becomes accepted into an initially reluctant community – but as long as he continues to cast them this well, it will be an uphill effort to direct a total dud.

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