Win It All

Win It All ★★★★

Johnson + Swanberg has to be my one of my favorite movie collaborations working right now. They always manage to come out with something that's totally in tune with what I like about dramadies, fully fleshed out, sympathetic and relatable characters in a slightly messy and interesting plots with tons of humor and pathos wrapped in a cool aesthetic. Jake Johnson as Eddie is the grounded center of the movie and he nails it. You believe and sympathize with his actions as a self destructive gambler who doesn't really have a plan for his life, even though he's clearly not a great person. Johnson is so good at effortlessly coming across as likable and charismatic that it doesn't really matter what he's doing, you want him to succeed. Johnson has to carefully balance a tightrope of emotions and actions, like more dramatic moments with his brother Ron (Joe Lo Trugilo), some funnier moments with his friend Gene (Keegan Michael Key in an underutilized role), his romantic moments with Eva (Aislinn Derbez, who hopefully continues her work with Swanberg), and even more tense as the stakes get raised and Johnson manages it all so well. I'm not just saying this because I'm a huge fan of Johnson (okay, kinda) but this is probably his best acting here and I really can't wait to see him in other roles. The story is simple, a self destructive gambler who bets on money that isn't his and scrambles to get all the money back, but effectively done due to strength of the writing, direction and cast. I love Swanberg's hands off, mumblecore approach to his movies and this one isn't an exception to the rule. The conversations are so lifelike and realistic, really leaning on that improv style to lead an authentic flow to the dialogue. The film is shot really interesting, super grainy and unflashy lending to a 70s feel. And I love the soundtrack, really low key and chill that reminds me of the characters inhabiting the movie. This is a super simplistic movie bolstered by the strong filmmaking and cast, can't wait to rewatch it.

Aaron liked these reviews