Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Fighter

One of the great unknowns of Oscar season 2010 comes in the form of David O. Russell's The Fighter.  Here's the solid looking trailer starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo.  On the plus, in terms of commercial hit status, and potential awardage is what looks like an emotional, gripping boxing tale; Oscar has a fondness for the sport (Million Dollar Baby, Rocky.)

The main deterrent seems to come in the form of Mr. Russell, whose reputation as a hotheaded director might detract many members of the Academy (tis a popularity contest!) from voting for him.  Yet again, if the film works, it might demonstrate an unseen maturity from the talented, if dubious filmmaker.  The Fighter seems like the first film Russell has ever made that might have a stronger emotional core than anything else; I Heart Huckabees, Three Kings and Flirting with Disaster are strong, clever stories, but lack heart.

Aside from Russell derision, there might be truth in his madness-- he's shown adept at coaxing nice performances from actors (for instance, Wahlberg showed such strong soul and comedy in I Heart Huckabees, that it really should have gotten more notice.)  Christian Bale might have the best shot for a nomination.  You might notice he shed his "Batman" figure yet again to scary limits, and since supporting actress is looking fairly slight this year, if Adams and Leo deliver (or at least have a clip worthy scene) they might factor in as well.

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