Dear Tom McCarthy,
And I mean that.
Lately it seems that every time I go to the theater I just open my mouth and the screen shovels in pounds of bullshit while I reluctantly smile and, for some reason, ask for more. Kind of the same way I devour ice cream, earn an excruciating headache, only to continue eating the frozen treat that put me in agony in the first place. I’ve recently seen ordinary soldiers defeat a superior alien race, a love story overrun by mystical angels wearing 1960’s garb, and even a good movie with a bright shiny object…the one about the psychotic ballerina falling apart in that seemingly peaceful section of theater. And then here you come with your third movie about ordinary people, your third movie where you easily span the human condition with delicate humor, drama, and emotion in a way anyone with a brain and heart can relate to.
It’s because you understand what every great storyteller understands: That the power of humanity isn’t found necessarily in war, superpowers, or science fiction. It’s found in emotional pain. In emotional distress. And, most of all, each other. And Win Win successfully accomplishes what your last two movies did as well: regular lost souls just trying to find their way in the world, and realizing that happiness is in emotional bonds and love…not in some magic pill that gives you a superbrain (or whatever that new Bradley Cooper movie is.) Your movies contain no bright shiny objects (unless you want to consider Bobby Cannavale’s humor one), they have no frills. They aren’t particularly gritty, nor are they depressing. They don’t feature gimmicky dialogue nor do they force us into some secret underworld. They don’t pander to any particular audience nor do they aim to meet any expectations of what moviemakers often think an audience craves. They just are.
I don’t know how long you work on your flicks, but you have made what I have tried to do for the past 12 years seem effortless.
So, yeah, FU.