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MISSISSIPPI GRIND

SYNOPSIS: Down on his luck, divorced and facing financial hardship, Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) teams up with younger charismatic - but also solo - poker player, Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what has been lost.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
There's an almost tangible and well-maintained mood throughout the film that places it somewhere just south of noir. A seamless blend of buddy movie, gambling movie and road movie, Mississippi Grind delivers two terrific central performances from Ben Mendelsohn as Gerry and Ryan Reynolds as Curtis, two losers - with optimism.

Gerry is the worse case of the two, an aimless gambler always putting everything on the one bet - the wrong bet. Curtis is smarter, but his life is no gold plated model, either. We've seen these stories before but these two are both arresting characters, and thanks to the performances, worth watching and being engaged.

The buddy movie within this semi-tragic story works best, although the screenplay (or is it the editing?) mashes things up around the end of the third act, confusing us with what and when and where, after what feels like an ending. It isn't. It's a jump from one scene to the next, as if a scene or a sequence has been omitted.

There is much pleasure, though, in a fabulous blues-infused soundtrack, full of Mississippi blues; over 20 of them.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

MISSISSIPI GRIND (M)
(US 2015)

CAST: Ben Mendelsohn, Ryan Reynolds, Yvonne Landry, Anthony Howard, Jayson Warner Smith

PRODUCER: Ben Nearn, Jamie Patricof, Tom Rice, Lynette Howell

DIRECTOR: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

SCRIPT: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Andrij Parekh

MUSIC: Scott Bomar

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jade Healy

RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 10, 2016 (Melbourne, Cinema Nova)







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