Win it All (Swanberg) – 3/4
This was my first Swanberg film and I really enjoyed it. It skillfully avoids the cliches of the indie “dramedy” scene by grounding itself in reality.
It’s so rare to see a film with such minimal indulgences about a character and his indulgences. While the plot is entirely predictable it doesn’t make any misguided effort to mask its outcome.
Jake Johnson is great here and needs more attention. Another rare thing is to see a supporting sitcom actor fall so comfortably into a lead role.
The qualms I have with the film are in its structure. There were a few missteps that prevented it from being truly great. The third act is rushed when measured to the first act. Once the climax hits the film self-corrects and everything wraps up appropriately in a subtle manner.
This is my first Swanberg film. I’ve heard great things about “Drinking Buddies” and feel like I should check it out.
I believe he is the kind of director who will, in due time, have a breakout film if he is able to manage structural issues better in the edit room.
He also needs to step away from Netflix’s poor distribution methods. Had absolutely no idea this film existed until I stumbled on its high score on MetaCritic.