Mississippi Grind

"Good"

Mississippi Grind Review


As the story snakes south through the United States along the Mississippi River, this movie builds up a bleak, mopey vibe that's difficult to engage with. It's the story of two gambling addicts who think that the answer to all of their problems lies just around the next bend in the river, and it's sharply well written and directed, with astute performances from the lead actors. But it's also relentlessly grim and unsympathetic.

They start their journey in Iowa, where estate agent Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) is at the end of his rope when he meets cocky gambler Curtis (Ryan Reynolds). There's a spark of recognition between them, as Gerry sees Curtis as himself 10 years younger, thinking maybe he can kickstart his life again. So they hit the road together, heading for a high-stakes poker game in New Orleans. Along the way, they stop to visit Curtis' favourite prostitute (Sienna Miller) in St. Louis and Gerry's bitter ex-wife (Robin Weigert) in Little Rock. And in between, they visit Memphis to win some extra cash. But by the time they reach New Orleans, things are starting to look desperate again.

 

From the start, it's obvious that both Gerry and Curtis are losers who are willing to bet everything on the chance that the next casino or dog track will yield untold riches. So it's hardly surprising that both are so resolutely alone in life. The day they meet, both of them see a rainbow in the sky, and they interpret it as an omen that their treasure is waiting for them. But this means that they ignore the terrible odds stacked against them. Both Mendelsohn and Reynolds add layers of interest to their roles, and their performances make this film worth a look, especially the way they circle each other like starving lions looking for their next meal. Both are optimistic long after they should have given up, and their interaction with Miller and Weigert bristles with years of disappointment.

The problem is that there isn't a glimmer of hope anywhere. Even when they win, there's a nagging predictability that they'll just lose everything again. So the film's snappy, often humorous dialogue isn't quite enough to make the audience root for them. Instead, the film tantalises us with the possibility that all of this will turn into some sort of double-whammy scam, but Boden and Fleck are saying something serious here, not aiming for flashy entertainment. This is a quietly grim exploration of people who think they can win even as they continue to make terrible decisions. And it's not much fun to watch a couple of likeable guys fail so miserably to learn the lesson.

Watch Mississippi Grind Trailer Here



Mississippi Grind

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 13th August 2015

Box Office USA: $62.1k

Distributed by: A24 Films

Production compaines: Electric City Entertainment, Sycamore Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 52 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Producer: Ben Nearn, Jamie Patricof,

Starring: as Curtis, as Gerry, as Simone, as Vanessa, as Bookmaker, as Dorothy, Stephanie Honoré as Denise, Lauren Gros as Alice, Justin Lebrun as Pitboss, Teri Wyble as Women Buyer

Also starring: ,

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