The Fighter…Wow

Dec 3, 2010Breaking Newzzz

The Fighter gets my vote for Best Film.

Lucky for me, I get to see movies before they are released and this has been quite a week for screenings. Starting with Black Swan, a movie so exhausting, it felt like a spinning class. So much of why I like Black Swan has everything to do with Natalie Portman‘s performance and Mila Kunis‘ presence in this film, cementing her as a really good actress. The focus though has to be on Natalie. We can cut to the Oscars now and the drama between giving the much deserved Best Actress award to Annette Bening for her great performance in The Kids Are Alright versus this stellar turn for Ms. Portman. I think Annette needs to finally get one…but damn…will this be a nail biter, as was Black Swan. Portman gives the performance of a lifetime, but she is young and stunning, and that will have to suffice, and warm the cockles of her heart in case Bening wins.

My favorite movie this year, hands down, is The Fighter, starring Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg and Melissa Leo. Ms. Leo is to the Best Supporting Actress category that Ms. Portman is to Best Actress. Leo gives the performance of the century (21st), if you ask me. I was dumbstruck by her total embodiment of this lower-middle class, barracuda mother of nine. A performance so perfect, that when she is on film, you may as well be watching a documentary because there is no way this is acting. The Fighter, based on a true story, is beyond fantastic and My Own Private Hurt Locker for this year. Before I get into Christian Bale’s haunting performance, I must give props to Markie Mark. His interview on 60 Minutes showed how likable and sympathetic he is and those qualities are the key ingredients to his moving performance as the fighter, Mickey Ward. His commitment to getting this film made proves why he has risen in the ranks of the Hollywood elite for reasons beyond the obvious. I’d like to mention Amy Adams for a second because she is really wonderful as Mickey’s “love interest”. Adams takes the standard second tier women’s role and gives it her all, surely with the help of the sheer brilliance around her. And now, onto THE performance by Christian Bale that stopped me from breathing. As Mickey’s crack addicted, has-been, fighter brother Dicky, Bale is so haunting, that, as with Leo, you forget you are watching actors. A secondary storyline has HBO filming the brothers as they prepare for a comeback. It is that set up that kept me from remembering that we were watching a movie not the documentary in the making due to the convincing performances. Whereas in Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky has you confused as to whether what you are watching is real or in Portman’s mind, here, David O. Russell presents such a gritty story, that you are confused as to whether Christian Bale is in fact Dicky Ward because he has embodied this character so deeply. I mean…he doesn’t even look like Christian Bale.

Look, what can I say, if Rocky could have won Best Film, then The Fighter, which is leagues more intense, emotionally draining, better acted and in fact equally uplifting, had better be a contender for Best Film for 2010.


One Response to “The Fighter…Wow”

  1. […] that I simply cannot breathe. To aim for perfection has always seemed like the kiss of death. See Black Swan if you want to really see the downside of trying to be perfect. The Nagel Principle has all the […]

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