After breaking out with the bleak, but masterful character study Half Nelson, filmmaking duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck took on baseball with the under-appreciated Sugar and mental illness with It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Returning after five years, they are back with some freewheelin’ fun in Mississippi Grind and today brings the first entertaining trailer ahead of a release this fall from A24.
The drama finds Ryan Reynolds playing Curtis, a drifter who finds more pleasure in the journey than the destination of gambling. Ben Mendelsohn, often portraying unpredictability and pent-up aggression in his wealth of gripping supporting characters, finally gets a leading role as the deeply compelling Gerry, a loner with an underlying sorrow who’ll bet on anything — even the appearance of patrons exiting a bathroom.
We said in our review, “As the two progress to their eventual goal — which has an intriguing twist featuring James Toback (clearly a winking nod), but results in character turns that don’t feel entirely founded — the finale soon becomes laborious with one too many endings. Ultimately, Mississippi Grind provides a venerable acting showcase to a pair of under-appreciated actors, but could have used more impetus in its execution.”
Also starring Sienna Miller, Analeigh Tipton, Robin Weigert, and Alfre Woodard, check out the trailer and poster below.
In this lively, freewheeling road movie, Emmy Award nominee Ben Mendelsohn plays Gerry, a talented but down-on-his-luck gambler whose fortunes begins to change when he meets Curtis (Ryan Reynolds), a younger, highly charismatic poker player. The two strike up an immediate friendship and Gerry quickly persuades his new friend to accompany him on a road trip to a legendary high stakes poker game in New Orleans. As they make their way down the Mississippi River, Gerry and Curtis manage to find themselves in just about every bar, racetrack, casino, and pool hall they can find, experiencing both incredible highs and dispiriting lows, but ultimately forging a deep and genuine bond that will stay with them long after their adventure is over.
Mississippi Grind opens on September 25th.