Indie Roundup: ‘Win Win’ and ‘Cracks’

Movie Talk
'Win Win' Fox Searchlight Pictures
'Win Win' Fox Searchlight Pictures

This week's roundup of independent movies includes a

Sundance fave and a psychological thriller directed by someone with a familiar


Win Win

Tom McCarthy has had one of those careers you can't help

but envy. While making a name for himself as an actor, McCarthy has appeared in

blockbusters like "2012" and "Little Fockers" along with more critically

acclaimed work in "The Wire" (he played the weaselly journalist Scott Templeton

in the fifth season). McCarthy has also

built a reputation as a first-rate writer-director, making such movies as "The

Station Agent" (2003) and the Oscar-nominated "The Visitor." This week,

McCarthy releases "Win Win," one of the clear breakout hits of this year's

Sundance Film Fest. The movie centers on Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti), a

lawyer whose practice is failing, though he can't quite admit this to his wife

Jackie (Amy Ryan). When Mike makes an unethical decision to become the legal

guardian of a senile client, the plan goes awry when the client's grandson Kyle

(Alex Shaffer) shows up at their door step. Bobby Cannavale, Melanie Lynskey,

and Jeffrey Tambor also star.


"Cracks" is the directorial debut of Jordan Scott, the

daughter of Ridley and niece of Tony. Whereas the movies of the elder Scotts (who helped produce "Cracks")

exudes testosterone, this film, set in the cloistered confines of an all-girls

boarding school in Ireland, is resolutely from the point of view of, and

principally about, women. The girls of the school are enchanted by their

free-spirited teacher, Ms. G, played by the ethereally beautiful Eva Green.

When Fiamma, an exotic new girl from Spanish aristocracy, joins the class, it

throws everyone — particularly Ms. G — into disarray. If you're a fan of Peter

Weir's classic "Picnic at Hanging Rock" or "Heavenly Creatures," or if you ever

wondered what the seamier side of Hogwarts might look like, this could be a

movie for you.

See the trailers to the movies: