Early Reader Review: David O. Russell’s The Fighter

the fighter

/Film reader “PWH” attended an early screening for the sports drama David O. Russell‘s The Fighter, and says the film will be an awards contender. The film tells the story of Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), a real life boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded after a run of drugs and crime.

Shepherded his half-brother “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), Dicky had a Rocky-like rise to the world lightweight championship. Ward fought throughout the mid-’80s and ’90s, but he’s best remembered for three battles with Arturo Gotti, two of which went down as the greatest in the history of the sport. Amy Adams plays “a tough, gritty bartender and former college high-jumper” who ends up dating Wahlberg’s character.

The Fighter doesn’t yet have a release date (but is expected to hit theaters in late 2010), so I assume that that it is a very early cut of the film without final cuts, sound mix or score. A lot could change between now and the time of release, they might even do some reshoots. Who knows. Just wanted to add a bit of context. Read the reader test screening review after the jump.

I just saw an advanced screening of David O. Russell’s “The Fighter” starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. This movie is a force to be reckoned with in 2010, including come Oscar time. The only film I’ve seen of David O. Russell is “Flirting With Disaster” which I enjoyed; turned off Huckabees about a half hour in because I’m not smart enough to enjoy that shit.

David nailed it with “The Fighter” – great pacing (takes it’s time like films used to but never gets boring), great performances (can see a Best Supporting nod for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo), and a story that not only plays well with genres (really a sports dramedy – lot of laughs, actually), but it also tells a compelling story about what’s important in life – not just your dreams but who you take with you on the way to those dreams being realized.

It’s just a very likable movie and I think it’ll play well with critics and audiences alike. I was somewhat emotional with joy by the end of the film. Call me cheesy for that, that’s fine, but the film isn’t cheesy. Authenticity and heart abound in a film that will stay with you long after you’ve left the theatre.

Cheers,

PWH

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