New indie flick Win Win – written and directed by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent) – asks a pertinent question. In these times of economic uncertainty just how far is a person of integrity willing to go in order to stay afloat?
The goal of Win Win’s central character, lawyer Mike – played by Sideways’ Paul Giamatti – is a modest one. An altruist at heart, he owns a practice dealing exclusively with the elderly. With his business capsizing, he desperately seeks to make ends meet. When a sketchy opportunity arises to make some extra cash by acting as legal guardian for one of his clients, he abruptly seizes it. But, rather than allowing the dementia-suffering Leo to live at home – an important part of the deal – he instead chucks him into an old folk’s home whilst simultaneously pocketing the monthly cheque for his care in order to keep his head above water financially. The situation is further complicated – as one would expect – by the arrival of Leo’s runaway grandson, a reticent prodigal wrestler named Kyle.
It may not be the kind of storyline that wins awards for originality. However, the merit of McCarthy’s unusual and softly spoken film lies in the integrity of its message. It’s the type of film that reminds you humanity does, in fact, have some redemptive qualities, despite what you might sometimes suspect. Go see. (Words: Aoife Moriarty)
In cinemas May 20th.