Tag Archives: Melissa Leo

“The Fighter” Should Score Oscar Nominations

Christian Bale (left) and Mark Wahlberg star in “The Fighter.”

You’ve probably figured out from reading my movie reviews that I hate profanity. Our vocabularies include so many words that cover all situations, including when we’re ticked off, that the f-word never truly needs to be flung about.

Well, I also dislike boxing. Two people trying to beat each other senseless and bloody? That kind of violence turns my stomach.

Despite these two aversions, I really enjoyed “The Fighter.” It’s a well-woven, true tale of Micky Ward, a hard-luck welterweight from Lowell, Massachusetts. His older half-brother, Dicky Eklund, a crackhead whose claim to pugilistic fame was going the distance with Sugar Ray Leonard, was Micky’s idol and trainer.

Micky (Wahlberg) almost always had his brother Dicky (Bale) in his corner.

Wahlberg has become one of my favorite actors. He always puts everything he has into a role. I read that he spent several years shadowing the real Micky Ward and training for the part. He was so believable as a boxer.

The soulful Christian Bale

But see the movie for Christian Bale, who gives the performance of a lifetime. Not only did he drop 30 pounds to play the lean, addicted Dicky, but you would swear he was raised on the streets of Boston. There was no trace of his native Welsh-British accent. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t earn a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

Alice Eklund Ward (Melissa Leo) loves her family.

Wahlberg and Bale head a list of fine actors who make “The Fighter” fun to watch. Melissa Leo is wonderful—she plays the mom of nine kids (including seven very-protective sisters of their two brothers) and also manages Micky. Amy Adams does an interesting turn as Micky’s girlfriend.

If you’re like me, you’ll wince at all the profanity and the body blows when Micky is in the ring. But you’ll end up cheering for “The Fighter.”