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Win It All

Coming Soon

Official Selection:

Starring: , ,

The SXSW conference began somewhat disappointing following the disastrous premiere of Terrence Malick’s Song to Song on an overcast evening, March 10th. But in the afternoon of the following day, the popular film festival picked up tremendous speed with Joe Swanberg’s second SXSW premiere Win It All, starring Jake Johnson, Aislinn Derbez, Joe Lo Truglio and Keegan-Michael Key.
Johnson plays Eddie Garrett, a down on his luck laborer with an addiction to gambling. When a buddy headed for prison asks Eddie to watch his mysterious duffel bag and offers him $10 grand upon his future release, Eddie leaps at the fortuitous opportunity. There’s only one rule. Do not open the bag.
But Eddie’s curiosity gets the best of him and he discovers the bag is full of cash. Naturally, he gambles a ton of it away.
“You’re addicted to losing,” claims Eddie’s addiction sponsor, played by Keegan-Michael Key. Eddie, recognizing his problem, finally begins getting his life in order, including finally accepting a landscaping job working for his older brother, played by Joe Lo Truglio.
Eddie also meets Eva, a single mother and nurse played by Aislinn Derbez. Eva inspires the better parts of Eddie, which keeps him focused and working hard to repay his self-inflicted duffel bag debt and to repair the relationships around him. He’s basically kicked his habit.
But all good things come to an end when Eddie’s jailhouse friend receives an early release. Eddie hasn’t finished repaying his unauthorized loan and gets desperate. He attempts to win it all back.
Swanberg, working within his usual micro-budgets, does plenty things right in 90 minutes. Much of that success is attributed to story focus and overall restraint. It doesn’t fall into typical Hollywood tropes because it adheres to a singular purpose: deliver an original story, told my talented and humorous players. Jake Johnson, who co-wrote the script with Swanberg, is absolutely great. The banter between characters is hilarious and never overstays it’s welcome. You won’t find glitzy Hollywood effects or dramatic set pieces. You get focused filmmaking and pleasant performances. The real winner is the audience.
Win It All premieres on NETFLIX this April 7.

Win It All is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.


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