At Sundance, our own Noel Murray praised Tom McCarthy’s Win Win primarily for the performances of its two leads, Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan, and it’s likely that your interest in said film will depend greatly on your appreciation of Giamatti and Ryan. Of course, that doesn’t stop this trailer from playing up the redemption-through-sports angle—if anyone were to wander into this film thinking it pulled the same heartstrings as The Blind Side, the producers obviously wouldn’t mind—but of course, some of that is to be expected with a story like this.
Here Giamatti stars as a lawyer whose practice is as beleaguered as the high school wrestling team he coaches, but who discovers new purpose after recruiting the troubled, tattooed teenager (Alex Shaffer) who shows up on his client’s doorstep. He and Ryan become de facto parents and learn stuff about each other in the process, Jeffrey Tambor provides his usual effortless comic sidekickery, Burt Young wheezes in the background, and everyone forms a ragtag family unit that bands together when said teen’s ne’er-do-well mother shows up. It’s all a bit rote, probably, but it seems sweet nonetheless—and there are definitely worse things to do with your time than spend 106 minutes with Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan.