Starring: Ben Mendelsohn, Ryan Reynolds, Sienna Miller, Alfre Woodard, Analeigh Tipton, Robin Weigert
Directed By: Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden
A pleasant surprise. I had heard some mixed things about Mississippi Grind, mostly positive, but a few negative things. I liked it. It’s definitely one of the better films this year, and probably the best thing Ryan Reynolds did in 2015. It’s actually probably his best performance since Buried. It’s a rare performance from him that suggests he actually is a much more serious actor than his roles have let him be. There’s a deep pain in Reynolds’s character, one that his comedies usually don’t show. You can feel his loneliness in his best scenes. And Ben Mendolsohn, who has really started to get noticed recently as an actor, is great here too. There are a ton of great Best Actor performances, and I don’t think he’d make my Top 5 this year either, but he should be proud of his work.
Mendelsohn plays Gerry, a man with a serious gambling problem. When he’s deep in debt and out of luck, he meets Curtis (Reynolds) who seems to be his good luck charm on a road trip journey, gambling along the way. Both men grow and change along the way. There are ups and downs, but it allows for some good character work from both.
I didn’t feel like everything really resolved. I guess that’s my one problem, is that the movie seemed to leave a lot of loose ends, especially with the supporting cast. I think we all can surmise what happens after the credits roll, but I would have appreciated seeing a bit more actual resolution on screen. Overall, a pleasant surprise. Check it out now on Amazon Prime.
FINAL GRADE: B+