The Fighter

There is a big difference between seeing a movie, and a film. Something like Unstoppable is watching a movie, seeing The Fighter is watching a film. There have been numerous great movies to watch this year, but only a few films. People get nominated for their work on films, and The Fighter deserves every nomination it gets.

The first half of The Fighter is almost like a psychological experiment. My wife couldn't watch as Mark Wahlberg's character Mickey was getting pummeled. She would turn her head to the side and close her eyes. At the same time I couldn't stand watching Christian Bale's character Dickey do anything. But by the second half of the movie my wife couldn't turn her head away from watching Mickey pummel his opponents, and I was rooting for the two brothers to get together and take over the boxing world.

Things like that help differentiate films from movies.

I can't say enough about the performances of the three stars in this film, Wahlberg, Bale, and Amy Adams all put on spectacular performances. The dedication to the characters is what separates the performance by Bale and Wahlberg. It was reported that Bale would starve himself, and go missing for hours while trying to lose weight for this role. It shows, he plays the crack addict role perfectly. Meanwhile Wahlberg didn't want to film a movie about a boxer without looking like he had the body of a boxer. This also shows as he reportedly trained for 3 and half years for this role while production was halted.

David O. Russell's decision to shoot all of the fights using HBO's boxing production equipment, and announcers helps set this film apart. It truly felt like you were watching a fight from the mid-90's on TV.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the role of Mickey, and Dickey's mother Alice, played by Melissa Leo. Her part, and those played by the half dozen or so sisters provided much needed comedic relief, and drama throughout the film.

The Fighter is getting a lot of award buzz this season, and deservedly so. Do yourself a favor during this holiday season and go be entertained for 2 hours by this film.

The Fighter
Directed by: David O. Russell
Written by: Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, and Keith Dorrington
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Would Gene Pick it?: Yes

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