Part of my ongoing project of taking too many business trips to Cleveland, and while I'm there checking out the cool places for cinephiles. Last week was the Cedar Lee Theatre. Like most art house cinemas it's in a bit of disrepair, but it has a great program and you can get a beer with your movie--awesome! I had the good fortune of going there on a night there was a thunderstorm. I was one of only three people in the screening, and an usher came up before the show and explained that if the power went out or the storm warning increased, we would evacuate and take shelter in the basement. That didn't happen, but I did get to listen to the booming thunder outside all through the movie. It wasn't really the right movie for that.
As for the movie, WIN WIN showcases the acting talent of Paul Giamatti as Mike Flaherty, a struggling lawyer and volunteer wrestling coach. The title seems ironic at first, with not much winning in either his professional life (he doesn't even have money to fix the furnace, which might go at any moment) or his wrestling team. He pulls a bit of a fast one when he volunteers to be the legal guardian for a wealthy but senile client Leo Poplar (Burt Young) and then cashes the checks while putting him in a home. All well and good (and illegal/unethical) until Leo's grandson comes to visit. He's got a story about how he can't go back home to his mother, and this seems like just another headache for Mike until it turns out the kid is a brilliant wrestler. In fact, there might eventually be some winning going on. Or instead his past misdeeds will catch up with him. Good acting and well rounded characters.
Running Time: 106 minutes
My Total Minutes: 236,769