How many times has Christian Bale deserved a nomination? Well let's examine that. (1) Empire of the Sun (2) American Psycho (3) Equilibrium (4) The Machinist (5) Rescue Dawn (6) The Fighter. Who would have thought the role that's probably gonna win one of the greatest actors of our time his Oscar is that of an American bum. But hey, pretty darn good role and pretty darn good movie.
So The Fighter is a boxing drama based on a true story by David O Russell about Mickey Ward, an aspiring pro boxer and his older half-brother/trainer Dicky Eklund who was once the pride of the town for knocking down Sugar Ray Leanord but is now a crack addict. Ward deals with his overbearing family as he tries to grasp at one chance of boxing glory before his time is up.
I gotta say this and this has nothing to do with the review, but damn is Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale's family ugly in this. Every sister they have just get's uglier and uglier. Their house is like a clown car of ugly sisters. You'd think Melissa Leo would have burnt her vagina shut after the second one came out like that. It's like Mordor up in her uterus. Just sayin. Okay moving on.
The Fighter is a great film. A lot of people are comparing this to Rocky and Raging Bull but I wouldn't go that far in praising this film. The Fighter is more of a family drama than a boxing movie. There is only 2 fight scenes in here and the rest are just some really good well directed family struggles that is as realistic as it is comical and heavy.
This is Christian Bales movie, Mark Wahlberg gave a commendable performance in this, but I can't say enough of Bale's performance in this. There is a video that plays in the credits of the film that shows the man he was playing and the resemblance in speech patterns and body movements are almost identical between character and actor. Bale embodies Dicky Eklund. Even to the point of abusing himself to get as thin as he got to be the character. This is bravura method acting at it's finest being flashed out by Christian Bale here.
And it also helps that the character of Dicky Eklund is an interesting character anyway. He's that person in the family that is the life of the party, the most colorful person in the room. I can see why people love the guy. He's got his own style of charm to him. So put that character together with an actor who can handle it and boom we have ourselves one of the best performances of 2010. Oscar nom? Yes, Oscar win? Better be.
Another two who we're great in this were Melissa Leo and Amy Adams. Melissa Leo as usual is great in any role she plays, tackling the role of the matriarch of the Ward-Ecklund family almost in the same fashion as Barbara Hershey in Black Swan but not in a creepy kind of way. On some level her character reminds me of Edie Falco from The Sopranos.
And Amy Adams. Wow is she great in this. And honey, thank you for doing that scene in your underwear. Me like it. She plays one feisty woman who don't take no shit from nobody but has that gentle loving side to her that Mark Whalberg has been so lucky to see. My favorite scene in this movie was a very beautiful play between her an d Christian Bale talking about what they need to do for Micky on a porch. That I thought was a wonderful scene.
I do have a complaint though and that was the boxing scenes. I felt that O' Russel wasn't to keen on focusing on the boxing and was just trying to get over with it as soon as possible, so the scenes were poorly choreographed and shot. In both scenes we see Mark Whalberg get the shit beat out of him for the most part and towards the end he gets up and lays a few punches and wins. There isn't any tension, no drama, no internalization while the fights are going on. They were just fights for the sake that it was a boxing movie.
Although I feel The Fighter has zero chances of winning much Oscars with heavy contenders like Inception, Black Swan, Toy Story 3 and True Grit; I love this movie nonetheless.