Win It All Screen 6 articles

Win It All


Win It All Poster
  • Can [Swanberg and Johnson] sustain viewer interest in a story about a literal loser who’s making a sincere, committed effort to overcome his gambling addiction and straighten out his life? Not really, as it turns out, but there’s enough disreputable behavior bookending the righteousness, and enough solid jokes along the way, to make the effort moderately entertaining.

  • To someone who has no interest in gambling, there's something queasily awful about watching someone not know to quit while they're ahead. "Win It All" has a couple of entertaining sequences with an improvisatory spontaneity that—when it works—is the best part of Swanberg's low-key style. But overall, the film feels very slight, wispy-thin, barely there. "Win It All" also has an extremely obtrusive soundtrack, but the music can't create the urgency that the film really needs.

  • The film doesn't have the meta ambitions and gamesmanship of Easy, Swanberg's often brilliant Netflix series, but it's a rich and warm character study that concludes with one of the most moving images of his career so far: of a new home, almost lost, that has managed to blossom.

  • It's a chance to see a handful of great comic actors, Johnson chief among them, milk Swanberg’s low-key narrative designs for all the comedy they’re worth. The movie itself is no big gamble — but as always, Swanberg’s style is rich enough that it doesn’t have to be.

  • The film unfolds with the same attention to emotional detail as other Swanberg films. His knack for uncovering human moments in everyday conversation is at play and threads the story together in a fun, rapid pace. It’s the “Johnson and Swanberg” take on a poker film — a dose of gangster drama, screwball comedy and indie arrested development.

  • It has a bold and fluent swing, an easygoing, riffy spontaneity that depends greatly on his actors—on their talent but, even more, on their very way of being. Swanberg has spoken of Skype conversations taking the place of auditions, of casting actors for the way that they talk with him on the computer’s casual camera, and the ones in “Win It All” flourish in the film’s organized freedom.

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