Mar 16 2011

Paragraph Reviews 3/16/11 – Film By Faye

Today a guest post from my sis Emily, who examines the work of Paul Giamatti, including his new film Win Win.

Paul Giamatti has always been a favorite of mine and with a new film coming out called Win Win, I wanted to do a special write up about his films. Hilarious and heartwarming, the new film make me laugh out loud. A broke lawyer in New Jersey, Mike (Paul Giamatti) becomes the guardian of an old man in order to receive some extra money every month. When the old man’s grandson shows up, Mike has no choice but to take him in until his mother gets out of rehab. The film has a great ensemble cast and everyone is funny. The actors do a great job of transitioning the feel of the film from a comedy to an intense drama when it needs to be. The grandson, played by Alex Shaffer, does an especially good job of this. This being his breakout role, I was very impressed with his ability to make the switch. Although it is easy to tell which he is better at. Giamatti is solid the entire film and when a scene is lagging, he picks it up quickly and carries the rest of the cast with him.

In a strange, dark comedy, Paul Giamatti is excellent. The film, Cold Souls, is unique and funny with some of my favorite Giamatti scenes. He plays himself, an actor who is having difficulty separating himself from the play he is starring in. So he visits a clinic and has his soul extracted from his brain and stored in a facility. With some of his best monologues and incredible facial expressions, Giamatti delivers an amazing performance. People assume portraying yourself in a film would be easy, and he makes it look that way, but he also made sure the character was more intriguing than your average person. It wouldn’t surprise me if Giamatti turned out to be that interesting of a person.

In Sideways, a more well-known comedy, Giamatti provides the hopeless middle-aged man needed for the lead. Depressed, and trying to make sure his friend has a good time on a road trip to wine country, Miles and his friend Jack rediscover themselves. Finding yourself in the middle of your lifetime is not filmed as often as a coming of age story about teens. Sideways makes you laugh about it, and at the same time hope you don’t end up like that. Giamatti tends to choose these types of comedies because he performs well and it is never ordinary. This film is a great representation of Giamatti’s acting style and I love and respect what he does as an actor.