Friday, December 31, 2010
Based on the true story of Mickey Ward, a welterweight boxer from Lowell Massachusetts, this is a sure crowd pleaser and Oscar contender in multiple categories. Mark Wahlberg stars as Ward and he is the anchor of the film. Standout performances are all around him in the form of Melissa Leo as his mother, Alice, Christian Bale as his brother Dicky and Amy Adams as his girlfriend, Charlene.
While the film is about fighters, it's center is really about family. For years, Mickey has let his mother be his manager and his brother, his trainer. It hasn't gotten him anywhere except for multiple losses. He is fiercely loyal to his family but decisions have to be made.
David O. Russell directs and takes his camera directly into the eye of the hurricane of this highly dysfunctional family. Dicky had his shot in the ring but his life choices have led him astray. Mickey's last shot is redemption for both of them and the last act of the film takes us to a rousing finish.
The film also has a terrific soundtrack. Who would have thought I'd be humming "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake, as I left the theater.