Directing duo Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden return to TIFF with their latest film, their first feature since 2010’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, and grab one of the Gala spots with a road movie about 2 gambling addicts looking for a big score in Mississippi Grind.
Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) is a sad sack that is in debt to bookies and loan sharks everywhere. Playing low stakes games with his Real Estate job money Gerry knows he’ll never pay off his debts without something doing drastic. But then Gerry meets Curits (Ryan Reynolds) during a local poker tournament. Curtis has a more happy go lucky attitude when it comes to his affairs so when Gerry makes a last ditch decision to hit the road to a exclusive home game in New Orleans, Curtis decides to back him and go along for the ride.
The construct of a road movie works well for Fleck and Boden’s style of character and dialogue driven drama and both leads are game. Mendelsohn continues to solidify himself as one of the mediums most reliable character actors with another excellent performance and Curtis is a character that plays to all of Reynolds strengths. The real discovery of the film though comes in the form of a irresistible breakthrough performance from former America’s Next Top Model contestant turned actress Analeigh Tipton.
Mississippi Grind delivers a engaging and thoroughly satisfying film that proves that Boden and Fleck have not lost a step.
Wed Sept 16 at 6:30pm at Roy Thompson Hall
Thurs Sept 17 at 12noon at Elgin/Winter Garden Theater
Sat Sept 19 at 3pm at Elgin/Winter Garden Theater