This movie may come off as just a boxing movie but it's so much more than that. It's an underdog story. It's a recovering addict story. It's a story about family. It's a story about finding out who you really are and standing up for yourself. This movie is all about the acting because the acting so wonderful. It's nomination for Best Picture is well deserved.
Christian Bale absolutely loses himself into whatever role he plays. I have loved him ever since he was Jack Kelly in Newsies and then Laurie in Little Women. I've watched him grow up into playing more serious and darker roles and adore him in the new Batman movies. In this movie he because Dicky, the former boxer who is still trying to relive his glory days but in reality has fallen into his drug addiction. You totally forget the actor and you see the character. It's very easy to both pity and get disgusted with Dicky. Because of his addiction and how his mother treats him, he's quite manipulative and puts a lot of guilt on Micky. The negative sides of drug addiction are shown a lot in this movie and how it affects everyone. Still the transformation of his character is well done. Bale deserves his Oscar 100%, yes Geoffrey Rush was fab in King's Speech but I do believe that Bale edged him out in this role.
Even though I still think that Hailee Steinfeld should have won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, Melissa Leo is fantastic in this role. I haven't seen her in any other movie (though I know she was nominated for Best Actress for Frozen River a few years back) but she really lost herself in this role. You can't stand her for most of the movie. She's very manipulative and quite unreasonable at times. And then all her daughters act this way too. It's like they want to keep Micky down all the time and never allow him to surface. However Leo is great because she evokes so much emotion from the audience. The scene that really got to me and why I personally think she deserved to win was when she catches Dicky after he's trying to run away after being caught in the middle of his drug use. Throughout the movie, you're made to think that she's either completely oblivious to her son's drug use or just plain ignoring what he's doing. As Micky later points out, her world seems to revolve around Dicky and doesn't seem as if she cares about Micky even though he is the better son. But with this scene, you realize that 1) she does know exactly what's going on and 2) she's absolutely heartbroken over what Dicky has become. She's trying to hide it but really it's hurting her a lot because she truly loves her son. This was a scene that I could really relate to and it hit home.
Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams are excellent as well. I do wish that Wahlberg had been nominated for Best Actor as he was outstanding. I felt so sorry for him but so proud that he finally stopped letting his family hold him back. Amy Adams is great as his supportive girlfriend and I love that she could stand up for herself as well. The fight with his sisters was a hoot. The other supporting characters are great. I love Micky's dad and his trainer (who was actually the real trainer of the real Micky) as they help him out the best way that they can.
I would have to say that out of all the movies that I saw during the Best Picture showcase, this was the movie that created the most response out of the audience. We laughed, we jeered, we cheered and we cried. People yelled at Dicky's mom and sisters and then burst into applause at Dicky's decisions after being in prison. The final boxing scene really sounded like it was a real match the way we got into the movie. There were lots of WOOs!!! and YEAHS!!!!! It was great and the way the audience really got into was fantastic.
This movie is really wonderful. It's such a good underdog story and one that you want to cheer while watching. There is a LOT of cursing in this movie. For that reason if it really offends you, you might want to skip this movie but if you can handle it, it's really worth all the swear words. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the acting. This movie deserved all its nominations and the two acting wins are well deserved. Go rent this one as it just came out a few days ago. It's well worth it.