Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: The Fighter

This one's going to be short. Once a movie has been out for several months, been nominated for and won several Academy Awards, you sort of lose your right to review it, unless it's part of my Second Age Review list.

So The Fighter. Based on the true story of Mickey Ward, a promising young boxer who's career was mismanaged by his mother, and his entire life vanishing the shadow of his older brother, Dicky Ecklund, a once well known fighter who went head to head with Sugar Ray, now a rapidly deteriorating crack addict. The film is primarily devoted to showing the strained relationship Mickey had with his extended family.

I wish I could rant about the technical details, because they're all great. The soundtrack is well written used, the cinematography is excellent, the editing subtle and nuanced. But at the end of it all, those aren't very important, or at least not as important as they usually are. See, like it's sibling The King's Speech this is a character drama based on real events, which means 3 things are more important than anything. One, the script has to be good. Two, the actors have to be good. Three, the sense of time and place have to be authentic.

The script and actors are both excellent. Christian Bale gives the performance of his career (well deserved Oscar win) and everyone else turns in incredible performances. If Wahlberg was ever more suited to play a character than he is to play Mickey, I don't know what it is. And the script dovetails perfectly, giving Christian the more showy performance as the spiraling Dickey, and showing us how much of Mickey's life is sucked up in his brother's ego.

So that's actor and script. How's sense of time and place? Well, most of it was shot on location in Lowell, and the fights are so well choreographed that I could find myself getting into them. So yeah, it's excellent. But you knew that. It won 2 Oscars. So if you haven't seen it, go out and fix that. Told you this one would be short.

Elessar is a 21 year old Alaskan born cinephile and he's FINALLY seen all 10 Oscar nominees.

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