Compulsive gamblers bluff their way to New Orleans in Mississippi Grind | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Compulsive gamblers bluff their way to New Orleans in Mississippi Grind 

If nothing else, Mississippi Grind re-establishes the talents of its two lead actors. Ryan Reynolds shows that his wiseacre persona can crackle when channeled through the right role. And Ben Mendelsohn finally flashes the headliner acumen already familiar to audiences in his native Australia (and fans of his Emmy-nominated role in the Netflix series Bloodline).

Gerry (Mendelsohn) is a reticent compulsive gambler whose addiction ruined his marriage and his relationship with his 8-year-old daughter. He's also in deep with all the wrong people. When he meets the charming, garrulous Curtis (Reynolds) at a squalid poker table in Iowa, they hatch a plan to gamble their way south so Gerry can bet it all on a high-stakes card game in New Orleans. He's trying to bluff his way out of misery.

Writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck crib copious plot points from Robert Altman's California Split, but they emphasize the journey more than its destination. This buddy road movie wallows in seedy casinos, dive bars, racetracks, pool halls and the empty gazes of two-bit losers.

Along the way, the supposed life lessons about the value of perseverance Gerry gives Curtis—and the righting of Curtis' restless relationship with Simone (Sienna Miller), the proverbial "hooker with a heart of gold"—are as dubious as Gerry's river card to salvation. When good fortune finally finds him, you're left with the gnawing, perhaps unintended, suspicion that he'll find a way to squander it.

Editor's note: The local release of Mississippi Grind was cancelled after our review went to press. We will update our film calendar if and when the film opens in the Triangle.

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

I loved the movie but I'm curious about the Japanese version. Will it be translated or subtitled? I assume they …

by Neil Robertson on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

Most Recent Comments

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

I loved the movie but I'm curious about the Japanese version. Will it be translated or subtitled? I assume they …

by Neil Robertson on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

Lurid and Trashy? Clint Eastwood is a true pioneer of cinema-in front of the camera and in the directors chair.For …

by jde on In Her Remake of Clint Eastwood's Lurid, Trashy The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola Probes Deeper Rhythms (Film Review)

Americans are really good at watching movies and everyone knows that they spend a lot of money on watching them, …

by Anil Sharma on The Average American Sees Five Thousand Movies in a Lifetime. Half of Them Come Out This Week. (Film Review)

I read a couple of good reviews about this movie in Hungarian papers. Actually it could be my mother's and …

by Gabor Lukacs on Ferenc Török’s 1945 Is a Dark Fable and a History Lesson Wrapped in Fine Cinematic Storytelling (Film Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation