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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cindy Prascik's Review of Mississippi Grind


Dearest Blog: This week, Wednesday brought me a new flick in the form of Mississippi Grind, thus managing to achieve something besides being not-as-horrible-as-Monday-but-not-as-awesome-as-Friday.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the...erm...has anyone even *seen* a trailer for this? I haven't. Okay, I'll try not to give away anything of consequence.
A gambling addict hits the road with a newfound friend, in search of a big score or redemption or maybe just something new.
Dear reader(s), you know me. I like actors. I like a LOT of actors a LOT, but far greater in number than those obsessions who sometimes grace my Instagram are those who simply delight me when they turn up in a movie or show, even if I have no idea of their birthdays or favorite colors. One such actor is Australian Ben Mendelsohn. 
When I heard there was some Oscar buzz around his Mississippi Grind performance, it didn't take more than that to sell me on the movie.
Mississippi Grind is a downbeat portrait of addiction. It's occasionally humorous and sometimes even a bit sexy, but it's mostly a realistic depiction of desperation, a person who just can't stop what he's doing, however harmful it is to himself or to those around him. Mendelsohn is breathtaking, probably no greater than he's been a dozen times before, but for some reason people are noticing this time. Ably playing opposite is the constantly maligned Ryan Reynolds. 
For my money, Reynolds is always solid, however bad the project. He'll surely lose his reputation as box-office poison with next year's Deadpool, but, for now, give him full marks for holding his own opposite a performance that's being called Oscar-worthy. Verbal exchanges between the two leads, as the new friends try to get a read on one another, are the clear highlight of a movie that's otherwise somewhat slow and unremarkable.
Mississippi Grind clocks in at 108 minutes and is rated R for language.
It won't brighten your day, but Mississippi Grind is a decent drama made worthwhile by stellar performances. 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Mississippi Grind gets five.
Until next time...

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