Money never sleeps in “Win/Win,” Dutch writer-director Jaap van Heusden’s modestly gainful stock-market comedy. Following a 24-year-old junior broker whose supernatural talent for picking hot commodities lands him at the head of his firm (and then in deep depression), this ironically titled satire complicates the notion that winning is everything. Van Heusden aptly goes for broke in the inspired visuals, while lanky lead Oscar van Rompay affects an almost silent-comic style of sympathetic emoting, as his sad-eyed protagonist proves himself a master of the universe, but not of his conscience. Regional fests will surely want to broker a deal.Setting his pic during the current global recession, van Heusden effortlessly makes the market look like a shell game. The stock-tip Post-It notes that goofy young Ivan (van Rompay) anonymously sticks all over the Amsterdam offices of Cahen & Greeson are catnip for his colleagues, who eventually identify Ivan as the source and reward him with a giant promotion, having reaped huge dividends from his genius picks. Ivan swiftly garners posh new digs and the close attention of an apparently gold-digging receptionist (Halina Reijn). But for some reason, the broker’s triumphs make him totally lose his marbles, to the extent that he starts sleeping in the office toilet stalls and later checks himself into a youth hostel. Deliberately bad financial judgment follows, as the viewer is forced to wonder whether Ivan’s next brilliant move will be to bring down his whole company, if not the global market. Zipping around cubicles and computer screens when not plunked down in the protag’s oddly chosen sleeping quarters, cinematographer Jan Moeskops does a fine job of capturing both the bullish and crashed energy of the milieu. Editor Jasper Quispel’s pace is alternately brisk and lethargic according to the alternating moods of Ivan and the market. Van Rompay occasionally comes on like a modern Buster Keaton, but the pic’s supporting cast is memorable as well, particularly Leon Voorberg as Ivan’s perpetually pissy boss.
An IJswater Films production, in association with NPS. Produced by Marc Bary. Executive producer, Ada Goossens. Directed, written by Jaap van Heusden.
Camera (color), Jan Moeskops; editor, Jasper Quispel; music, Minko Eggersman; production designer, Gerard Loomans; costume designer, Martina Fehmer; sound, Jaap Hermans; re-recording mixer, Marco Vermaas; special effects coordinator, Phillip Beck; assistant director, Sander Donker; casting, Janusz Gosschalk, Harm van der Sanden. Reviewed at Vancouver Film Festival (Cinema of Our Time), Oct. 8, 2010. Running time: 90 MIN.
Oscar van Rompay, Leon Voorberg, Halina Reijn, Hans Kesting, Phi Nguyen, Pepijn Schoneveld. (Dutch, English dialogue)