The Fighter

Director - David O. Russell

Genre - Biography/Drama

Directed by David O. Russell this is a movie about professional boxer Micky Ward who rose from nothing to become the toast of his small town Lowell. Feeling pulled down by his own family, in particular his manipulating mother and drug addict brother Dicky, not so young Micky has to choose fast in order to have a shot at glory. Playing Dicky, an almost unrecognizable Christian Bale completely hijacked the picture. With a script written in such a way that 'The Fighter' in the title refers as much to Dicky as it does Micky, Bale made sure he wasn't playing second fiddle by giving the performance of a lifetime. Dicky fights to redeem himself from the ashes of past failures and addiction. Micky fights to prove himself worthy. There are two stories running simultaneously here. We have never seen a film until this in which the supporting actor (Bale won an Oscar in this category) outshined the lead so thoroughly. It works however and Wahlberg being outpunched in the acting ring by Bale doesn't mar the outcome at all. In fact, it is curiously enriched because Dicky is the more interesting brother. The one we paid to see. Christian Bale's dedication to his craft is well known. Now it's unquestionable.

4.5 STARS!

All about The Fighter


Ben said…
Bale indeed hijacked the picture, whcih made me think who the hell could've played Micky Ward better. Because Wahlberg was not all that bad. Bale was just inspired. Have you watched Winter's Bone? John Hawkes rivals his performance for best support actor.
Custard said…
I totally agree, Bale is a true master and it is so nice that he is finally getting the rewards for his very hard work!!

All Hail Mr Bale!!

Love the 1 minute idea. GREAT!
Ben - Hmmm...we were thinking that Matt Damon could have played Micky Ward. Damon has that earnest quality about him which suits the role. Plus, he's a much better actor and won't be, if at all, overshadowed by Bale. Of course, this is just a rough theory. The art of making a good movie isn't just about having the right cast.

We haven't seen 'Winter's Bone' but when we do, will take heed and notice this John Hawkes you're talking about. Thank you for your comment.

Custard - Bale has indeed been working hard. He doesn't take the roles he inhabits lightly, does he? Glad you like our concept. Thank you and hope to elicit more comments from you.
Audrey said…
Here's the thing: I think that it was a conscious choice on the part of the actors. Wahlberg's acting isn't bad, it's just him playing a quiet, more subtle character. Dicky is supposed to completely overshadow Micky. That's the point!

Not to say that Christian Bale wasn't amazing: I just think that they played it like that on purpose. :)
You have a point there. The story is woven in such a way that Dicky is seen as the more charming of the two, the one who is louder and the one who is comfortable being in the limelight. Micky is the shy, reserved brother who never did feel at ease with the attention. Perhaps given time, Wahlberg's subtle performance will be appreciated more. Right now, we're just happy for Bale's deserved win at the Oscars. Not all of the winners past and present deserve the honor. Bale truly deserved it.
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Castor said…
Loved it! It could so easily have a typical underdog sport story but I liked that it focused on the relationships. Great performances all around make this worthy of all the accolades it got.
Yes. It is so much more than an underdog story. It's not rocky. Haha.
Actually, I thought the entire supporting cast was brilliant. Wahlberg's usual flat performance works in this case, precisely because he makes a great straight-man for everyone else in this film.
You are absolutely right. Walhberg fits the role like a glove. Like he was born to play it. He's not a consummate thespian like Bale but in this, he isn't too bad.