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Movie Review: Win Win

Alternate Title: Do the Right Thing

Story: It is refreshing to see a film located in New Jersey that is not about the characters who live at the Jersey shore. This warm, real and funny film was sensitively directed and written by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor) and based on a story by Mr. McCarthy and Joe Tiboni.

Self-employed lawyer Mike Flaherty is struggling to support his family. His small practice relies on a dwindling clientele of Senior citizens in these tough economic times. Mike is a family man, a part-time high school wrestling coach and all around mensch but his financial problems are becoming overwhelming. Into his path falls a situation where he could become a client's guardian and pocket $1500 per month. Moral quandaries arise - and we know this is somehow not going to be a win-win situation, but he goes for it.

The film is filled with small lovely moments of pathos, warmth and cinema magic. The casting is flawless and the likability factor is high. Will Mike end up on his feet? Will the family stay intact? Treat yourself to a small, wonderful film when it comes your way.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbe33D59euY

Acting: Paul Giamatti, as usual, gives a master class in acting. He is wonderful. Amy Ryan as wife, Jackie Flaherty is picture perfect too. Bobby Cannavale as best friend Terry Delfino works his usual magic. Jeffrey Tambor as Stephen Vigman is hysterical. Burt Young, Leo Poplar, gives a sensitive quiet performance. Melanie Lynskey as bad mom, Cindy is good too. Newbie Alex Shaffer as wrestler Kyle is terrific as is the entire supporting cast.

Predilection: I will see just about anything with Paul Giamatti.

Trivia: Amy Ryan was nominated for Broadway's 2000 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for a revival of "Uncle Vanya."She was also nominated for Broadway's 2005 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for a revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire." She attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center and graduated from New York City's High School of Performing Arts. Melanie Lynski starred in Heavenly Creatures years ago with a very young Kate Winslet.

Critters: None

Food: Pancakes, breakfast cereal.

Sex Spectrum: None

Blatant Product Placement: Apple, Cocoa Puffs

Opening Titles: A jogging sequence.

Theater Audience: Two other people and us.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: It was a little long in the middle and I almost looked at my watch - but did not.

Predictability Level: Moderate

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Probably not.

Big Screen or Rental: I always promote the big screen but this film can easily be enjoyed on the small screen too.

Length: Under two hours.

LOBO HOWLS: 8