Wednesday night I went with my parents to see "The Fighter." When I first started reading about the movie several months ago I wasn't interested. I like Mark Wahlberg, but I wasn't sure I could handle two hours of just watching him box. Then I saw a promotional appearance he did on the Ellen Degeneres Show where he talked about the process of making the movie and I was intrigued.
Apparently Wahlberg had been trying to get this movie made for several years (in the end it took four years to complete) and he never gave up and getting it to the big screen. He built a boxing ring in his house so he could train. He invited the Ward brothers to come live in his house. He fully committed to bringing this story public. Watch his interview with Ellen here:
"The Fighter" is the story of two brothers, Dicky and Micky Ward (yes, their names rhyme), who grew up boxing in Lowell, MA. The story is as much about their quest for the title as it is about their dysfunctional relationship. Christian Bale plays older brother Dicky and Mark Wahlberg plays Micky.
Dicky was an accomplished boxer and the "pride of Lowell" until he became addicted to crack. His younger brother, Micky, idolized him and Dicky eventually became Micky's boxing trainer, even while he continued to abuse drugs. Christian Bale is phenomenal in this role. His physical transformation into a junkie is frighteningly realistic and his inability to pull his life together makes you cringe.
Actress Melissa Leo plays the mother of the Ward boys and I believe seven sisters. Bravo to the casting director who hired seven of the most hideous women I have ever seen to play these meddling couch potatoes. Ick. Leo is excellent as the mother/manager who tries to control young Micky's life, no matter the cost.
Also in Micky's corner is his girlfriend, Charlene, played by Amy Adams. I always think of Adams as playing very innocent, refined young ladies and in this movie she was quite the ball buster! She learned the Boston accent and attitude and served as Micky's ammo against his family. I loved her in this part, particularly during their first date scene. Hilarious.
The most sincere aspect of this movie is Micky's struggle between doing what's best for him and doing what pleases his family. You feel his anguish as he tries to unravel himself from his mother and older brother.
"The Fighter" is nominated for six Golden Globe awards, four Screen Actors Guild Awards and six Critics Choice Awards. As we say in Boston, this movie is wicked awesome.