The Fighter

Cert 15, 116 mins, USA 2010, Director: David O. Russell.
Mark Wahlberg stars in Paramount Pictures’ inspirational docudrama exploring the remarkable rise of Massachusetts-born, junior welterweight title winner “Irish” Micky Ward… “a frighteningly funny, oddly touching movie.” (  The Observer)

Micky is a determined pugilist whose career in the ring was shepherded by his loyal half-brother, Dicky (Christian Bale) — a hard-living boxer-turned-trainer whose own career in the ring was nearly sent down for the count due to drugs and crime — perennial underdog Irish Micky rebounded from a disheartening series of defeats to win both the WBU Intercontinental Lightweight title and the WBU Light Welterweight title thanks to a fierce combination of determination and hard work. David O. Russell directs from a script by 8 Mile’s Scott Silver and Paul Attanasio (The Bourne Ultimatum).” Jason Buchanan, Rovi.

“This is a frighteningly funny, oddly touching movie that never flinches from or attempts to sentimentalise the grotesquely embarrassing Dicky or to turn Micky into a liberated spirit. Both Wahlberg and Bale are excellent in their different registers, as are Melissa Leo and Amy Adams as the differently calibrated women. Bale, Leo and Adams have rightly received Oscar nominations and this is indeed an actors’ film that draws its power and moral energy from the interaction of this ensemble. It’s more about family than boxing and what’s worth bearing in mind is that after the climactic fight, handled with traditional triumphalism à la Rocky, Micky had three murderous encounters with the late Arturo Gatti, all ending with both in hospital. A shot of the real Micky and Dicky included in the film’s final credits shows what havoc 20 years in the ring can wreak on a man’s face. ” Phillip French, The Observer.

Sat 15 October 8.00 pm at Phillip Road.