Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fighting the good fight: The Fighter

Oh my, how I have neglected my poor little blog!
I've been neck-deep in a job hunt since January, going on interviews, sending out resumes and praying to the career advancement gods. But I am happy to report that my prayers, networking, sparkling personality and skills landed me a great new gig. I miss a lot of the people from my old office, but it was time to move on. I started last week, and I've been busy finding my place and trying to remember all the new names and faces (the latter is not my strong suit), but I promised myself I would post. The handful of you who read my blog deserve it.
The Fighter knocks out (get it? Ha! Puns!) any other Boston film in recent memory. Actually, I think this story, pulled from the 90s, is the perfect portrait of America right now.
Micky Ward is a down on his luck boxer. The toxic, but well-intentioned hold his family has on his career is preventing him from fulfilling his potential. His brother, Dickie, was a once-famous contender who's losing the one fight he can't afford to lose: His addiction to crack. But a new love in Micky's corner just may be his inspiration to do what needs to be done.

Micky is a lot like Lowell and other small cities in America right now. He has a lot of potential and just needs the right team of people to help lead him to victory. Mismanagement, desperation and greed have done a number on Micky, but he's not giving up. In the wake of the recession, strong management, hard work, and tenacity are the only things that can help our country off the ropes.

The performances in this movie are inspiring. Melissa Leo, Christian Bale and Amy Adams are the most believable Joe Schmoe Massholes I've seen since Blake Lively blew me away in The Town. They fit so well into the neighborhoods of Lowell and the locals used as extras that you almost forget that they're Hollywood hoi polloi off screen. My favorite cast members have to be the ladies who play the Ward sisters. They're simply a lot of fun to watch, like a gum-smacking, cigarette smoking female version of the Goodfellas gang.

Using the real City of Lowell for much of the movie, and using a wardrobe that involves some of the worst crimes against fashion the 90s ever committed, gives this film genuine character. Did you ever think you'd see Christian Bale wearing MC Hammer pants, and not in an ironic way?
The best thing about The Fighter is that it doesn't condescend. There is no irony in it. It shows how junkies, has-beens, nobodys and never-weres have just as many stories to tell as the champions. The empathy you'll feel for these characters will catch you by surprise. This is a feel-good movie that doesn't sugarcoat reality.

I admit that I've pulled some punches here by not hitting you with a lot of puns, but I really I know that kind of thing could put me on the ropes and stop me from being a contender. It can be a rocky road out there that can leave you feeling boxed in or raise you up like a million dollar baby, so I just want you to know you're not fighting alone. I'm in your corner, like a raging bull.
There, I got it out of my system!

Now, I've seen a lot of movies since I last posted. Date Night, Running with Scissors, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Enter the Dragon, and a couple others. I promise to share my thoughts on all of them with you and soon!

Sent from my iPad