Win It All

Win It All ★★½

In 2005, I caught Swanberg's debut Kissing on the Mouth while it was on the festival circuit complete with filmmaker in attendance (awkward in a mostly empty hall to an indifferent response) and it went on my short list of worst films I have ever seen. I likely would have wiped the memory of that film completely clean had he not soon after emerged at the forefront of microbudget quickies and went on to what is already a prolific film career (20 features already?). I have scrupulously avoided everything he's done since but decided to give him another go with this Netflix offering after seeing a few positive reviews. He seems to have emerged, through sheer will and hard work, as a competent director and this one has a nice low key 70s style to it. It is surprisingly well directed. On the other hand, the thin premise is just so inherently flawed that it makes the film slightly tedious as it unfurls down its even more obvious route. After all, what gangster would entrust a gambling addict and born loser with a bagful of money to store for him while he is in prison?

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