Monday, January 30, 2012

A Monkey Movie Report

A financially strapped elder care lawyer and wrestling coach takes some ethically challenged steps to provide financial security for his family and in the process he gains a wrestling prodigy foster son, the guardianship of an elderly ward, and gets involved in the life of a substance abuser who wants a steady flow of cash. The lawyer is basically a good guy who makes a wrong decision that nearly spirals out of control and nearly ruins all he's built.

Once again Paul Giamatti turns in a fine performance. His put upon portrayal of this nearly good character is spot on. He's everyman and the schlub you can't help but love and root for. He's all of us who try to do the decent thing no matter what and who pay the price when we for once try to take a shortcut. For my money he's one of the best actors of our time.

Amy Ryan is stellar as his wife who slowly accepts the new kid in her home. Bobby Cannavale's dickish sidekick friend of Giamatti's character is a standout as well. Alex Shaffer as the knocked around wrestling prodigy is a new talent to watch out for, at times he's a blank canvass for the other older characters to react to but at other times he's a mass of teen angst waiting to explode. My favorite Kiwi, Melanie Lynskey, is super as the kid's cash hungry mother.

All in all I really loved this fine character driven film. It's small in scale and scope but it tells a universal story about struggles we've all been through. Highly recommended.

1 comment:

Romius T. said...

I love me some Paul Giammatti