|Posted by Fred on November 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM|
December 18, 2010
In the midst of my work and Christmas shopping, I felt the need to catch this multi-nominated film. I am so glad I did because it is outstanding. Ok, the typical ingredients of a boxing flick are here. A down-and-out underdog protagonist, the training scenes, the boxing ring scenes, the redemption towards the end. But the remarkable thing about this particular film is the fantastic acting, which can already be seen in the awards nominations already announced.
The ironic thing here is that the supporting actors have more acting challenges than the main character. It is good that Mark Wahlberg (as Micky Ward) was finally nominated for his acting, but his co-stars really stole the thunder from under him. He was basically underplaying his quiet character. Unfortunately, I also felt Wahlberg was miscast, being too old to be playing a young boxer on the rise. He was very realistic during the actual boxing scenes, as though he was a real boxer. (Wahlberg's training sessions with his idol Manny Pacquiao was very evident!)
Christian Bale had the showiest role as Micky's self-destructive half-brother and trainer Dicky Eklund. He was as far from his Bruce Wayne persona as can be. He was gaunt, slovenly and garrulous. He is uncompfrtably scary whenever he is onscreen. Melissa Leo, wow, shines in another very showy role! She is amazingly realistic as the domineering mother of these two boxers. Her Alice was a most self-possessed, quarrelsome and hateful character as they come.
Amy Adams also plays against her usual type as sassy Charlene, Micky's girlfriend who gives him back his confidence and a way out of his losing predicament. Even the more minor supporting characters were well-played: Jack Mc Gee as George Ward, Mickey O Keefe as himself, and even the seven annoying women who played the big-haired white-trashy sisters of Micky.
This film is fast-paced and interesting to watch. Director David O. Russell does a very good job in helming this project. I am glad it is getting the awards consideration it is currently earning. Very sure that the three supporting actors will make it all the way to the Oscar nomination listing.