Director: David O. Russell
Starring:Mark Wahlberg,Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, and Amy Adams
Been a sucker for boxing movies ever since I saw Kirk Douglas in Champion (1949). This is another burly tale of an underdog pugilist, light welterweight Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), overtaking the impossible . Based on the real life character, ‘Irish’ Micky Ward Mark Wahlberg convincingly plays the young boxer whose career is about to nosedive. Ably assisted on screen and in the narrative by his mother, (Alice) and manager (Melissa Leo); and his half brother and crack cocaine addict, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) as his trainer. Eklund was a successful boxer who is hoping to return to the ring and despite his drug problem. Alice secretly favours Dicky over “Irish’ Micky and is set up in a mismatched fight which he loses. Humiliated he retreats from boxing with an old flame Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams), a former college athlete who dropped out and became a bartender. Keen to keep the Micky fighting the family set up another match and contrive to prevent the boxer from changing camps. Eventually Micky is lured back into boxing by his father, who believes Alice and his stepson Dicky are bad influences. Despite all the odds, he moves up the welterweight ranks until he gets to the championship bout. Director Russell and his superb cast manage to avoid the usual boxing movie clichés to make the story resonate beyond the standard confines of the genre. Well worth seeing.