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Win Win

Year: 2011
Production Co: Everest Entertainment
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Director: Tom McCarthy
Writer: Tom McCarthy
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Alex Shaffer, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Burt Young, Jeffrey Tambor, Melanie Lynskey

Paul Giamatti's carved out a niche as neurotic middle class men who can't get their lives together despite successful turns in vastly different movies like the role of the villain in schlocky actioner Shoot Em Up. But no matter what the role I just can't help but be reminded of the schlub-like Woody Allen he plays so well.

He plays a small town lawyer and wrestling coach to a hopeless team of teenagers who bends the rules a bit to keep his head above water. His scheme delivers the runaway grandson of his benefactor into his lap so his family takes the kid in until they can decide what to do with him.

It turns out the boy is a champion wrestler and there's a subtle but fairly of-trod arc as they start to affect each other – the kid giving the hero something to believe in, the man giving the boy a family.

It's a little lightweight and dour, Giamatti's great as always but the material really isn't much of a stretch for him. The actor playing the boy's a bit of a monotone and he only adds to the colourlessness of it all. It doesn't go for overt laughs but there's plenty of humour and you can do worse if you're after an uplifting little drama.

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