Director- Ron Howard
Cast- Russell Crowe, Renee Zellwegger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko
Rated PG-13: for intense boxing
violence and some language
Running Time: 144min
I am going to skip all this snappy comment intro stuff and get right into the thick of this
review. After all, this film needs no introduction. But since I am skipping the intro doesn't that make it an intro anyways?
Uhh, lets move on.
James J. Braddock (Crowe) started out in the lightheavyweight division in his boxing
career in the late twenties, but after losing nearly everything in the stock market crash that began the infamous Great
Depression his boxing class was diminished and he himself was forced to search for other needs to provide for his family. After
countless hardships and tribulations that I could not even believe, Braddock was given what most people who fall into
a slump want above all, a second chance.
The story is fascinating as the life of Braddock unfolds. From him working on the docks, keeping
his family just above the edge of starvation, and then to his classic bout with the fierce Max Baer (Bierko). And when I say
fierce I freking mean it! This guy was insanley malicious, he had even killed two people in the ring before his fight
with Braddock. What makes this story even more remarkable than it already is, is that it all happened, its a true story.
If you think you have seen some intense epic boxing fights in films, well you really havent
seen the cream of the crop. The bout between Braddock and Baer is masterful, with an extra intensity boost in the
extraordinary score by Thomas Newman. (Let me just add that in the making of this film the fights were real, they were
actually hitting each other.) I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, routing for Braddock as was the rest of America
during that time. And during the final rounds when the audience in the film was chanting Braddock name, I got chills. Truly
one of the greatest moments in cenima history.
The acting is flawless. Russell Crowe, Renee Zellwegger, and Paul Giamatti were brilliant
and all deserve oscar nominations at the very least for their performances. Crowe's performance was the obvious standout.
In fact I have never seen a film where Russell Crowe was not great. The best actor of our generation, along with Johnny Depp.
Rarely in life will you see a films that touches your heart more than Cinderelle Man. It is
filmaking at its best. If you havent seen it yet you are missing a masterpiece. The best film of the year so far, and the
first film of 2005 to recieve my highest ranking.
-Boxing bouts are spactacular
-A tiny bit slow in the first 1/3.