“Win Win” Another Winner

Seriously, after watching “Win Win,” self thinks she now sees, for the first time, the appeal of wrestling as a spectator sport.

She must admit, she never watches the sport, not even during the Olympics.

But there was something about the boy who played the high school wrestler (newcomer Alex Shaffer), that just seemed so —  amazing.

Those scenes in the movie which showed the boy squaring off against an opponent?  They contained such tension.  First, the competitors would hollow their backs and face each other in a kind of crouch.  Then, each would try to grab his opponent with little testing gestures.  For the first time, self saw the gracefulness of wrestling.  The boy moved like a cat.  It was incredible.  (Then self would think:  What boy grows up wanting to wrestle?  You have to wear those costumes that look like something out of WWF, and you have to grab your opponent between the legs, and a lot of times you are both lying down, just trying to get a firmer hold, and —  well, self can see a dad telling his son, “No!  Absolutely not!  I will not have you crawling around on a mat engaged in full-body contact with another boy!”  Self’s just saying)

A number of years ago, self watched “Vision Quest,” a coming-of-age story whose main character, played by Matthew Modine, was a college wrestler.  Other than self thinking that Matthew Modine was cute, what she most remembers of the wrestling scenes was that Matthew Modine was usually grimacing (As she expects he wanted to project pain. Or discipline. Or determination. Or whatever)

But the face of the young boy in “Win Win” was almost always completely expressionless. Which is not to say that he appeared vacuous.  On the contrary, he seemed —  intent.  Then, during the wrestling matches, you could see the ferocity, in the way he could drop down and explode so fluidly, almost as if the floor were a trampoline!  The contrast was beautiful.

Other things about the movie self liked:

  • Paul Giamatti, of course.  Self has to struggle to remind herself that Paul was actually a Yale classmate of Ed Norton’s (Ed looks about 10 years younger —  Guess that’s what comes of keeping “buff”).  He plays a middle-aged lawyer with a small practice who has a sort of trampy blonde assistant —  and there is never anything even slightly flirtatious about their repartee:  Holy Originality!

Self also noticed that:

  • Amy Ryan has a great figure — It takes a great bod to look good in those long, cling-y sweaters.  If all you knew of this actress was “The Office,” where Ryan is usually attired in unflattering business suits, you simply must see this movie, if only to arrive at a fuller appreciation of Ryan’s physical attributes.
  • Melanie Lynskey, the actress who plays the wrestler’s Mom, was someone self first noticed in the Drew Barrymore fairy tale, “Ever After” (The movie that also introduced self to the hot-ness of Dougray Scott)  In spite of being saddled with the “villainess” role, and having to play a druggie, she projected a kind of vulnerability that made it impossible for self to judge her (Only thing is, she didn’t seem haggard enough to play a recovering junkie)

Self also doesn’t understand why the title is “Win Win.”  It’s sort of stupid.  Unless that’s an actual term used in wrestling.

How about something like:  “Never Pinned”?  But then there might be some people who think this is a movie about junior prom?  Just kidding!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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