Win Win is a study of characters and relationships. The story does not rely on cliché and that is where it works the best. The characters do not do what might be expected of them. Mike is not a bad guy, yet putting Leo in a retirement home against his wishes is a reprehensible act. Young Kyle appears to be the typical troubled teen. His hair is shaggy and bleached, he wears dark baggy clothes, and he barely speaks. However there s a lot more to Kyle than his outward appearance would suggest. Mike’s wife Jackie becomes surprisingly attached to Kyle despite her misgivings about taking in a complete stranger. All of the actors are believable and honest in their actioins.
The movie is both lighthearted and moving. The situations are extraordinary, but not unbelievable. Giamatti captures the spirit of middle-class struggle in a down economy perfectly. He is both the bad guy and the hero. Newcomer Alex Shaffer stands out portraying both troubled and sweet. The character portrayals are really what make this movie worth watching. The story is subtle, The movie is not telling the audience what to think. Just like in real life, people make good decisions and they make bad ones. Seeing how everything plays out is a fascinating look at how people move through the curveballs life throws them.
The movie is presented in a 1080p/AVC encoded transfer. This movie was shot on film, and the inherent grain only adds to the true-life look of the film. The world the characters live in is not totally bleak, but it is not bright and shiny either. The look of the film represents the day to day struggle the characters are going through. The detail is excellent, and the colors are vivid and real. Mike’s bright yellow sweatshirt stands out in the wooded forest he is jogging in. The emerald green wrestling uniforms are a bright spot in the neutral colors that dominate the scenery. Characters faces are nicely detailed. The sound is presented in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround. The film is dialogue driven and it is always clean and easy to hear. The surround channels are primarily used for ambient sound and they produce a nice realistic background of street noises, crowd applause, and birds chirping.