THE FIGHTER (2010)
THE FIGHTER follows Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), who became a pro boxing champ in 2000. It’s about tragedy to triumph, boy meets girl, and everyone speaking with funny accents (but there’s no need to use the DVD’s subtitle option).
It’s a film that’s been there (like RAGING BULL, a “true” story) and done that (like ROCKY, the ignored bum). No real surprises.
Except for a huge Oscar-winning surprise. Christian Bale created a character (Ward’s brother Dicky) that clings to old dreams and always babbles about new plans. You know people like Dicky. Mostly, you wish they’d leave, but then they do something graceful and generous and you can’t imagine life without them. Whether Bale’s Dicky hunkered in the background or silently reacted to another character, I couldn’t stop watching him. He deserved his Best Supporting Actor award. Melissa Leo, playing Micky and Dicky’s mother, also won her supporting category. (I would’ve voted for Amy Adams as Micky’s worn down, but fiercely independent girlfriend.)
If you don’t care for fight films, get in “the ring” anyway. The Wards will drive you nuts, but the film provides 115 minutes of flawed people struggling to realize dreams along an honest, entertaining path.
Questions you are invited to use or ignore:
A question I’d ask you over a cup of coffee: Who has been a Dicky in your life . . . where did he or she really make a positive difference for you?
A question I’d ask to get a church group talking: what dream have you had where your persistence/faith did pay off?