Win it All - 2017
Win it all is directed by Joe Swanberg, same mind that brought us 2013’s Drinking Bodies and 2015’s Digging for Fire. Swanberg also co-wrote the script with his go-to leading man in Jake Johnson, from New Girl. Story centers around Eddie, played by Johnson, a gambling addict left in charge of watching a duffel bag filled with money. After a couple of nights of “borrowing” from the bag, he finds himself in a huge debt hole that he needs to climb out of before the owner of the bag comes back.
This movie is easily described as a “small-scale” movie, but it touches on more themes than your typical box-office movie out today.
One of the best part of this movie in my eyes, was the relationship between Eddie and his older brother Ron, played by Joe Lo Truglio. Was surprised by Truglio, as he plays against type, being the straight man of the relationship. They instantly sold me on their love for each other. Truglio’s constant need to help Johnson felt genuine and you could tell it’s been years of him repeating the same advice, hoping this time around will be different.
Gambling addiction has been touched on before by other movies, The Hustler being the most recognized among them. But Win it all, easily joins the ranks as it had a great insight on how it can make your life better for a second and destroy it on the next one. Johnson conveyed his eternal inner struggle with all the choices he has made in favor of his addition through his eyes or by kicking a dumpster (your choice). I was completely enthralled in the world and each choice our main character made. I was tense in all the poker scenes and the money count in the right-hand corner was an extremely effective tool.
This movie is 100% carried by Jake Johnson. He completely sold me on his character and he separated himself from his New Girl character in my mind. I found myself rooting for him to change his ways and for a happy outcome, probably the main reason for my tension during the poker scenes. He developed great chemistry with his supporting cast, especially with Keegan-Michael Key, who plays his sponsor. They have multiple scenes of them just having a conversation and they were by far my favorite parts of this movie.
Swanberg simple direction and use of improvisation, creates a genuine feel to all his movies and Win it all is no different. Swanberge’s choices made within the film complemented the story and they never felt unnecessary. Love the music choice, never took me out of the film and complemented the story. The script is tight and it takes you from A to B effectively. Nowhere during this movie’s runtime did I question the decisions made by the characters and why as an audience member, I was shown this piece of information.
Win it all also managed to have a small and lovely love story. While it was the main driving factor for Johnson’s rehabilitation, the main one being the money owed, but it helps in stay on course. I liked the down to earth approach to their relationship and how simple it was for them to fall in love.
Win it all was a breath of fresh air that I needed after watching three unoriginal remakes and one uninspired movies in a row. This is the type of movie that drove me to start my blog and my reviews. This is why I love movies.
Win it all is currently streaming on Netflix, watch it.
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