Win Win

November 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

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This was the first Paul Giamatti film I had seen in several years, yet everything about his character was immediately familiar; this is the old Paul I have always known (i.e. sad sack, decent-hearted, worn out by the pressures of life and his own poor choices).   It seems, he is himself on screen.  That said, this film was as satisfying as most other films of his I have seen.  He is adept at playing the crumbling man you want to root for.  The film was genuinely funny at times: Jeffery Tambor and Bobby Cannavale were goofy fun and their interactions were some of the highlights of the film.  However, I was nagged by this feeling that what kept this film from being really good was the lack of acting strength in the kid who played the wrestler around whom the entire movie revolved.  His deadpan affect worked initially as the disaffected adolescent but, as the film increasingly required him to show complex emotions (such as rage, sadness, ambivalence, fear, resignation, etc), it just seemed he wasn’t up to the task.  It was a sweet film and a nice effort but, in the end, I never felt as deeply as the film wanted me to.

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