Win Win


Win Win

Written by Thomas McCarthy & Joe Tiboni

Directed by Thomas McCarthy



Paul Giamatti

Amy Ryan

Booby Cannavale

Jeffrey Tambor

Burt Young

Melanie Lynskey

Production Studio:

Theatrical: Groundswell/Next Wednesday Productions

Video: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment


Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p

Codec: AVC

Disc Size: BD50

Feature Size: ca. 29 GB GB

Bit Rate: Moderate (25-30 Mbps)

Runtime: 106 minutes

Chapters: 23


English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

French Dolby Digital 5.1


English SDH

Extras (in HD):

• 2 Deleted Scenes (1:50)

• Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni discuss Win Win (6:20)

• David Thompson at Sundance 2011 (2:25)

• Tom McCarthy & Paul Giamatti at Sundance 2011 (2:20)

• “Think You Can Wait” Music Video by The National (4:30)

• Family (a promo for the feature film (2:24

• Trailers in HD


Amaray Blu-ray Case: BRD x 1

Street Date: August 23, 2011

The Movie : 7.5

Critical Response:

Rolling Stone:

Director Tom McCarthy is some kind of wizard. In his hands, simple stories (The Station Agent, The Visitor) take on the gritty texture and emotional heft of life as it's lived, not contoured by Hollywood. Win Win, which he wrote with Joe Tiboni, is McCarthy's latest gem, hilarious and heartfelt with a tough core that repels all things sappy. Paul Giamatti gives a master class in acting as Mike Flaherty, a New Jersey lawyer specializing in elder care and, lately, in cutting corners. With the economy squeezing Mike's life with wife Jackie (the ever-wondrous Amy Ryan) and their two kids, he takes on the guardianship of near-demented Leo (Burt Young) with no intention of earning his monthly fee. When Leo's junkie daughter, Cindy (Melanie Lynskey), drops in from Ohio looking for Leo's cash, Mike fights back.

But who's more selfish? Mike uses Cindy's alienated son, Kyle (Alex Shaffer), to boost his case and the losing high school wrestling team he coaches with his friend Terry (a superb Bobby Cannavale). Newcomer Shaffer is an expert wrestler, and it shows; so does his natural talent. His scenes with Giamatti floor you. Nothing fancy — that's not McCarthy's style. Neither is phony rah-rah. This movie wins you over, head and heart, without cheating. It's just about perfect. - Peter Travers


San Francisco Chronicle:

"Win Win" marks [Joe McCarthy’s] third film with cinematographer Oliver Bokelberg (after "The Station Agent" and "The Visitor"), and all of them have a visual forthrightness that highlights meaning and emotion without a trace of gratuitous flash. The effect is an endearing and plainspoken clarity that stops just short of naturalism; the people in his movies don't seem real, exactly, but we end up caring about them as though they were.

"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. - Amy Biancolli


Chicago Sun-Times:

I was warming up to describe "Win Win" as a high-level sitcom and then wondered what's so bad about it being a sitcom if it's high-level? You have a situation, and it's funny. That's a sitcom. You have a funny situation, and there's some truth in it and unexpected characters, well-acted, and you may not have a great film but you enjoy watching it.

Well, OK. It's too neat. Everything clicks into place. Life seldom has uncomplicated endings. But let it be said that Alex Shaffer, who was cast more for his wrestling than his acting, is effortlessly convincing. That Giamatti and Tambor are funny when they try to out-dour each other. That Amy Ryan does what she can with the loyal-wife-who's-had-enough role. That the ending has simple pleasures, although not those promised by the beginning or by McCarthy's earlier films. I'm happy I saw "Win Win." It would have been possible to be happier. - Roger Ebert


Image: 8/9

Eevn if I felt the black levels tended to swallow up detail, and the color and contrast leaned to a kind of thickness I wouldn’t have gone for, the transfer is superb: More and more lately, there is less to say in this department with each new Blu-ray release.  Fewer, if any artifacts to speak of, blah-blah-blah.

Audio: 8/7

What’s not to like here. The acoustical space is well described, whether the family kitchen, the courtroom, a claustrophobic cellar, a jogging trail or a gymnasium.  Dialogue is always clear if a bit large.  The music track livens things up a bit.


Extras: 2

What can you say about a set of bonus features, the high point of which is the Music Video!

Recommendation: 7

Despite the slender Bonus Features, Win Win scores high on all the other counts: story, characters, performance, image and sound quality.  Great family entertainment, despite its questionable “R” Rating.


Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

August 31, 2011

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