I sat down Friday night with another recent Academy Award nominated film – The Fighter. The story is based on the lives of Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund, half-brothers who grew up in the town of Lowell, MA.
Plot Summary (courtesy of Netflix):
After a string of defeats, Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) rediscovers his fighting will with help from trainer and half-brother Dicky (Christian Bale) — a once-talented pugilist and small-town hero now battling drug addiction.
Normally when I sit down to watch movies, I have a pen and paper close by in order to jot down notes. This helps me give you the best reviews and aids me in remembering the movie if it’s been awhile since I viewed it. With The Fighter, I was so engrossed in the story that I only wrote down a few things – one of which was Mark Wahlberg‘s name with a heart around it. (He’s definitely on my celebrity list!)
Mark was just eh in the movie. I feel like it wasn’t a stretch for him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good actor, but I feel he tends to lean towards the same type of role – bad boy/tough guy, maybe a bit understood, rough-and-tumble character who has it in his contract that his shirt has to be off in at least 5 scenes. Now, I am not opposed to this scenario, but it doesn’t showcase much range.
Christian Bale, on the other hand, was absolutely amazing. His portrayal of a crack-addicted fallen star was riveting. From his physical appearance to his unfocused ‘crazy-eyes,’ he truly stole the show – deserving the 2011 Academy Award he won for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
The story itself exemplified the stereotypical Irish Catholic family ideals: that nothing is more importantly than family. Melissa Leo (who won the 2011 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role) does an excellent job playing the overprotective mother. She sees herself as the glue that holds the family together, when, at times, she is ignoring (and thus supporting) Dicky’s actions – the one thing that drives all of them apart.
I really enjoyed the movie, but can understand why others (like Mommy J.) didn’t. In my opinion, during the times where the plot may be somewhat ordinary, the actors truly shine.
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