Actor Paul Giamatti (left) plays a high school wrestling team coach in the film Win Win

Actor Paul Giamatti (left) plays a high school wrestling team coach in the film Win Win

Sports flick has a sweet side

Vernon Film Society brings the hilarious Win Win to the Towne Theatre’s screen as its next summer offering.

  • Jul. 20, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Vernon Film Society brings the hilarious Win Win to the Towne Theatre’s screen as its next summer offering.  As in The Station Agent and The Visitor (both shown previously by Vernon Film Society) director Tom McCarthy once more tells a story of an individual whose life is interrupted by strangers.

Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti – Barney’s Version, Sideways), a mediocre lawyer, makes ends meet by taking on the guardianship of a senile old-timer Leo, (Burt Young), promptly dumping him in a nursing home.  Mike isn’t all bad – he loves his kids and his wife (Amy Ryan).  He also volunteers as a coach for the pathetic local high school wrestling team.  Fate steps in when Leo’s grandson Kyle (Alex Shaffer), an expert wrestler, turns up on his grandfather’s doorstep. Kyle has run away from home, hoping to move in with his grandfather.  Mike cannot find any of Kyle’s relatives, other than a mother in drug rehabilitation, so Kyle ends up moving in with Mike and Jackie.

As Amy Biancolli, of the San Francisco Chronicle says: “Win Win isn’t a straight-up  sports movie, though it does offer a few vivid scenes of triumph and loss on the mat. It doesn’t obey the conventional rhythms of the genre. Nor does it obey every convention of the standard indie comedy – or its acid-tongued relative, the seriocomic portrait of a suburban dad in crisis. It’s too sweet for that, too modest in its narrative quirk, balancing the funny and the painful with a few bursts of violence and the overall warmth of decent people trying to figure out what’s best.”

A film with a big heart, Win Win will be shown at the Towne Theatre Monday at 5:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Please note the new times. Tickets are available at the door and one week ahead at the theatre and the Bean Scene for $7.

Linda Wills is a member of the Vernon Film Society