When down-on-his-luck part-time high school wrestling coach Mike agrees to become legal guardian to an elderly man, his ward’s troubled grandson turns out to be a star grappler, sparking dreams of a big win — until the boy’s mother retrieves him. (Netflix)
I’m not normally one to watch any movies that concern wrestling-I really don’t understand the sport. But I heard this was really good, so I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did. Beneath the marketed sports storyline, is the true story of this movie- a story about family, honesty, and trying to do the right thing. Yes, these characters have screwed up some things, but the mistakes are never done out of malice, and all of them, (even the mother) are attempting to fix things and improve their lives. Paul Giamatti is great as Mike. His character is the epitome of someone just trying to do the right thing, and trying to help his family. Bobby Cannavale, although his character really wasn’t that essential to the plot, did a good job of helping keep some needed lightness to the story. Alex Shaffer makes an impressive debut as Kyle, the young wrestler. His mostly deadpan delivery makes the moments where he lets go quite powerful. It also helps that he was actually a state title winning wrestler-he made some of the wrestling really interesting. As for that aspect of the movie, yeah, I still didn’t really understand what was going on technical/rules wise, but the this movie makes it accessible enough so you can at least figure out enough to follow the scene. Overall, an indie that was mostly overlooked that didn’t deserve to be.