Down on his luck and facing financial hardship, Gerry teams up with younger charismatic poker player, Curtis, in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what’s been lost.
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A film that really reminds us how much can be done with so little; a film predicated upon its two leading characters, their dichotomous personalities, the way they both need and don't need each other, function in their downtrodden situation, and embrace it in different ways. A movie that shows off the basics in a bold way.
A very conventional narrative depicting the woes of a gambling addiction. The audience empathise with Mendelsohn and Reynolds enough to make a monotonous premise a worthwhile journey. Nonetheless, I am pleased to see Reynolds stretch his dramatic credentials, and who better to learn from than Mendelsohn. However, if I chose to watch a gambling buddy movie, I'd watch Redford and Newman in 'The Sting'.
The script written by the co-directors gives in to cliché and easy plotting far too often to be very effective. That is a total shame because the core performances could have elevated this to something truly special otherwise. Ben Mendelsohn is cast perfectly as the compulsive beaten gambler still looking for that one win that will change everything and Ryan Reynolds is effective here as well. Nothing special.
A few good gambling scenes, but mostly this was a waste of time. Watch Altman's CALIFORNIA SPLIT instead, (even though Altman was forced to cut 2 scenes from the DVD re-release because they couldn't afford to pay the outrageous licensing fees now charged for the music he put in his film 40 years ago).
The eternal chase for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is represented in Mississippi Grind as the delusion of the American dream, weaved into a series of tricks - as seemingly inert as a cat in a scarf or as gut-wrenching as a queen of spades at the wrong time -, designed to grab you by the soul and never let go. The grind here is a heartbreaking one, for, as Curtis says "the destination is the journey".
If you’re in the mood for those pungent dramas about losers, gamblers, wanderers, solitaries, and despairing human creatures that inhabit the face of the Earth struggling with financial problems and family disillusions, “Mississippi Grind”, may be a splendid pick. (3.5 stars)
It starts off really slow and is pretty bland. The directing is questionable but the performances are strong. Everyone comes off as a real person, who has been wearing the same clothes for months. It picks up but it took a long time to get invested.