Mississippi Grind feels like an instant classic and if you're looking for yet another vibrant, glamorous film about gambling, driven by fancy montages of roulette tables and poker games, you've come to the wrong place because in this feature it's all about the characters.
Gerry (Mendelsohn) is a gambling addict who has racked up debt all over town and after meeting a mysterious stranger Curtis (Reynolds) decides to travel through Middle America, hitting all of the best gambling spots along the way, in the hopes of getting himself into the green once more. Curtis on the other hand isn't so easy to pin down as you wonder about his motivation throughout – he gambles on people rather than gambling with money.
Both Reynolds and Mendelsohn give compelling performances which carry you through the film as it never gets too bogged down in a plot. I feel this will be the wakeup call the world needs to realise that Reynolds is as good an actor as he is good looking, and that Mendelsohn can be more than just that familiar face on the periphery.
As the story goes along, and we become more invested in these guys, we delve further into the darker side of gambling as we learn that Gerry is fully aware of his problems and his powerlessness when it comes to controlling them.
Along the way we're also graced with an excellent cameo from Sienna Miller, and my only negative would be that we could've seen more of her.
It won't get your adrenaline pumping, but it will get you thinking, and if you're in the mood for a character-driven, often slow but never boring, film with two excellent leads, then Mississippi Grind is worth the investment.