Ben Mendelsohn (The Place Beyond the Pines) and Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal) play off each other well in more ways than one in the first footage from their Sundance hit Mississippi Grind. Mendelsohn plays Gerry, an in-debt, washed-up gambler, and Reynolds portrays Curtis, a young hot-shot poker player. The two join together on a road trip through the casinos of the South, dodging creditors and hoping to hit the jackpot. The film also stars Sienna Miller (American Sniper), Analeigh Tipton (Crazy Stupid Love), and Alfre Woodard (Something New).
Filmmaking partners Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden co-wrote and directed the film together. The two are known for their films Half Nelson (2006) and It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010), the latter of which garnered its star Ryan Gosling an Oscar nomination. Fresh off an Emmy nomination for his work on the Netflix series Bloodline, Mendelsohn could also be looking at further recognition for his acting in this film, as could his co-star and recent indie mainstay Reynolds.
The exponentially growing distributors A24 saw potential in the film’s performances when they picked it up at Sundance. On first look, the gambling movie seems to take the genre to a new level, adding the “buddy” sub-genre to what has typically been a one-man journey in past poker romps. Also, with Woodard playing Gerry’s calmly ruthless card shark, the film will have plenty to keep the audience interested.
A24 is releasing the film in theaters on September 25th.