Not a T.K.O, but still a KnockOut!

The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Melissa Leo has been nominated for 6 Golden Globe Awards:

  1. Best Director (David O. Russell),
  2. Best Motion Picture (Drama),
  3. Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture- Drama (Mark Wahlberg),
  4. Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture- Drama (Christian Bale),
  5. Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture- Drama (Amy Adams),
  6. Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture- Drama (Melissa Leo).

…and I completely understand why! The Fighter fought it’s way through several bouts with other competiting titles to make its way to these nominations, and, deservedly so.

Let’s look at why!

This biopic based on the story of boxer Micky Ward shows the classic, but true life, story of fighting against all odds to achieve. I did a little bit of reading up on Micky Ward’s story and it’s no wonder that director David O. Russell (Three Kings; the announced Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune videogame movie;) wanted to be a part of taking his story to the big screen…and to the world. It is a classic tale that tells itself.

Here we meet Micky Ward (Wahlberg), a local in Lowell, Massachussetts; a single father with limited visitation rights; a road paver; aspiring, but unsuccessful, boxer; son of a selfish, money hungry matriarch of 9 children (Leo); and younger brother of a washed up, drug addicted, older brother (Bale) who once was a well-seasoned boxer himself, but now only lives for the present moment and relishes in the memories of past adventures (such as a bout with Sugar Ray Leonard); a simple man interested in and dedicated loyally to success of his family and the ones he cares about around him, i.e. his new girlfriend, the rambunxious but direct, Charlene (Adams). We follow Micky’s story as he battles opponents in the ring and outside of the ring, in himself and around him, in his family and in his town, in order to make good in his boxing career for the benefit of himself and those he loves. To build back up the name of his brother, his town, his family, and himself.

This tale is not only about Micky Ward and his fight to win, for himself, his girlfriend, his brother, his town, and his family. But it is also about the fighter in everyone of the characters and the personal demons they had to face. Ward’s biopic shows that we, too, can fight and overcome personal issues in our own lives. From Ward’s family’s constant struggle with embarrassment and heartache over Dicky (his brother) and his drug addiction and problems with the law (he lands himself in jail), to the clan of his sisters lead by their mom consistently bickering and fighting with each other, himself, and his girlfriend; From Dicky’s struggle with his own life and the way it’s gone downhill, to the struggle that Charlene faces when reality reminds her of her own lack of achievement. It is Micky, who, like the mighty Atlas, carries all of them and their own problems on top of his own, and fights his way to the top of it all, bringing them along with him.

The acting in this film is very impressive and almost inspirational. People of note include Melissa Leo and Amy Adams, whose characters were so well portrayed. I actually forgot Amy Adams played in roles like Enchanted and Leap Year watching her in this film. Wahlberg, of course deserves a lot of respect and props for his role, body conditioning, and portrayal of Micky Ward. But, the show stealer of this film, is….by far….Christian Bale. The transformation he made from John Connor and Bruce Wayne to the drug-addicted, self-consumed, oblivious, weight-losing, authority-challenged Dicky Eklund is uncanny. I was most impressed by Bale. Showing off his versatility and range as an actor. The dedication that all of these actors put forth for their roles is a testament to why they have been nominated for the awards mentioned above. 

As I said, while it is not a TKO…there are some things that are a little drawn out (such as the girl-clan of sisters)…but overall this film is a knockout!

While not suitable for all audiences (IMDB: “Rated R for language throughout, drug content, some violence and sexuality.”) The movie shows the reality and brevity of the situations and allows the viewer to establish a relationship with those onscreen. Wahlberg and company fought a fight well worth the hardship! Go see The Fighter.

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!

TheSp1der’s Score: overall: 8 out of 10 stars “The Fighter”

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5 comments

  1. I’m so curious for this movie (especially to see Bale’s performance) but I’m just not a fan of boxing flicks. Too much blood for my comfort. I might end up seeing it on dvd. Glad to hear Bale is finally the scene stealer in this flick, he’s been the one getting scenes ‘stolen’ from on more than one occasion.

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    • I’m not a huge boxing movie fan either, but like “Million Dollar Baby” this is a drama, THEN a boxing movie. Great performances make the boxing element take a backseat to the story – very well done! 🙂

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      • I agree with Dustin here! boxing does take a backseat. Most boxing movies are ruined with being too caught up in the ring. One reason why Ali was such a strong movie but disappointed some, because it was more about the man and not about the boxing. The Fighter focuses on the people first, and boxing takes a distant backseat. Imagine the backseat of a 15-passenger van.

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    • Yes, Bale was the best. and, by saying you might “end up seeing it on dvd” I hope you mean Blu-Ray! 😉

      This film, I believe, will surprise you in how well it is done. Might I be so bold as to say Go see it in the theater!?!

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  2. Hmmm, now that you both said boxing takes a distant back seat, I’m more inclined to see this. Glad that they didn’t overindulge on the ring scenes, I mean if people want to watch boxing, then see a REAL boxing game. What I’m interested in is a good story and performances, which looks like this film has in droves. Thanks guys!

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